Sweden’s Ivanhoe leaves Estonia after 20 years

21.05.2012, 10:15

The Swedish fashion company Ivanhoe is moving its knitted production back to Sweden after 20 years in Estonia, writes news2biz.

"We are getting new machines and we will set them up here. The reason that we are moving production home is that series are shorter now and lead times are short, too. This means that we have to have full control of production in order to be able to serve our clients," says Ulf Göthager, co-owner of Ivanhoe.

In 1992, conditions were ideal for Swedish textile makers in Estonia, but the market is completely different now. Ivanhoe originally invested in a plant in Haapsalu together with some other owners.

In 2004, Ivanhoe exited ownership in the Estonian plant, by the name of TVMP, but has continued to use the company as a sub-supplier since then.

"We will continue to have sewing done at TVMP," says Göthager who assesses that Ivanhoe employs 20 people at the plant in Estonia.

In connection with the homesourcing of the knitted production, people in the small community of Gällstad in Western Sweden where Ivanhoe is located, shall not expect a great decrease of unemployment.

Ulf Göthager says that his company which employs 13 staff at the moment, may hire one or two staff more in connection with the move.

The tiny village of Gällstad was previously known as the thread centre of Sweden as a large part of Sweden's knitted goods were made in the village.

Ivanhoe was founded in Gällstad in 1946 by Martin Göthager and is now run by the founder's three sons. Ivanhoe makes clothes for what the company calls active leisure and rose to the world's eye when Sweden's 1970s ski legend Ingemar Stenmark used the company's sweaters that as a new feature were enforced on the elbows so that skiers were protected from the impact of passing sticks.