USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) purchased modern high-tech knitting machines for Rubizhne Hosiery Manufacturer under a grant. This Italian equipment will allow the factory to produce premium hosiery for adults, children and babies.
“These machines will allow us to increase the volume and range of our production. We will return to implementing our strategy, which was developed with the support of USAID experts, and gradually resume production of technological professional sports hosiery,” says Olha Ushakova, the factory’s commercial director. “We currently cooperate with several Ukrainian brands for which we manufacture products, mainly adult socks. The number of machines we had before receiving the USAID ERA grant did not allow us to take large orders, and we could not produce children’s assortments and socks with a kettledown seam, which are in demand among our foreign customers. These were the products we had a great demand for and orders before the war from our foreign partners, so these machines will allow us to re-establish this production and increase our output by 25% compared to today.”
Now the machines are being installed in the shop, and socks will be knitted on them in two weeks.
Since the company has new equipment, it needs employees to work with it. Now they are looking for nine specialists, including a knitter, sewing machine operator, repairman, packer, and hosiery molder.
USAID ERA is also supporting the company’s efforts to develop a human resources administration system as part of the Business4Ukraine initiative. For this purpose, the company engaged a specialist working at the University of Oxford, Maryna Stiahailo, who has extensive experience in the human resources management sector in Ukraine. In addition, USAID ERA trained the company’s staff to use modern artificial intelligence service ChatGPT, which has significantly increased the company’s productivity in communications and marketing.
The company is also working on a new line of sports socks under the MOVIGO brand, which was developed by USAID ERA specifically for the factory.
Rubizhne Hosiery Manufacturer is a relocated enterprise that completely lost its production in Rubizhne as a result of Russia’s occupation and moved to Lviv. In October 2022, with the support of USAID ERA, Lviv City Council, and the help of business partners, the company resumed operations. The factory started with a team of 17 employees. USAID ERA paid for the annual lease of the production facility, which helped the company focus its efforts on other production processes at the initial stage.
To resume sock production, the factory received a loan from its business partners and purchased 20 knitting machines. It also received other auxiliary equipment through grants from the International Organization for Migration, Danish Refugee Council, Ukrainian Business in Action Project from the European Fund Development Program, Women’s Perspective Center, and Easy Business Grant.
The factory currently employs about 50 people.