LONDON — Knitting factory in central London is shutting down, with workers taking their own lives as a result of the closures.
In a statement released Friday, Knit &Castle, which manufactures garments for the likes of Gap, Keds and L’Oréal, said it was closing the factory as part of its plan to “turn the page.”
The company said it is making a “full financial recovery” but that the factory has been closed since April of this year, with the company unable to make payments due to the closure.
It added that the closure “is not due to a lack of production, but a shift in the workforce and the impact on our suppliers.”
“We are working to address our long-term sustainability in a manner that will support our existing employees and support our future growth,” the statement read.
“We have made a full financial recovery and are now investing in our production and supply chain.”
Knit &s;Castles last closure was in September 2018, but the company’s current operations are run out of a separate factory in the capital.
The factory employs between 1,000 and 2,000 people, according to its website.
It said it had also “delivered substantial revenue growth and delivered a strong return to shareholders.”
In 2018, Knits &.
Castle’s share price was trading at more than $8.80, but dropped below $8 in 2019, which prompted investors to withdraw.
The closure of Knits&.castles production and distribution is a major blow to London’s garment industry.
Its manufacturing operations are responsible for around 15% of all garment exports to the United States, with an estimated $1.2 trillion in value.
“This is a very, very sad day for the fabric industry and for the industry as a whole,” London Fashion Council chief executive, Emma Thomas, said in a statement.
“It is sad that there are people who can’t see that this is their future and that they are at risk of losing their livelihoods.”