Luxury cashmere company eyes growth with Finance Yorkshire investment

(Left to right): Richard Levin, Loop Cashmere; Anne Blanden, Finance Yorkshire; Claire Heathcote, Loop Cashmere; and Alex McWhirter, chief executive of Finance Yorkshire.

Yorkshire based Loop Cashmere is set for growth after securing a £250,000 investment from Finance Yorkshire.

The company specialises in luxury cashmere garments, sourcing its sustainable yarn and products from Inner Mongolia.

Founders Claire Heathcote and Richard Levin launched Loop Cashmere two years ago after careers in the fashion industry

Finance Yorkshire has invested £250,000 from its Growth fund which will support Claire and Richard’s ambition to be one of the largest independent cashmere retailers in the UK.

The funding has enabled the company to open a warehouse in Leeds and appoint a head of marketing. It will also support Loop re-platforming to new website which will launch Loop’s new autumn collection in September, as well as allowing the use of designers and technologists with years of experience in crafting and fitting the most beautiful cashmere styles.

Richard said: “Finance Yorkshire’s investment has come at the perfect time as we reveal our new autumn collection which will be stocked by our first 10 independent boutiques. We plan to increase our customer base by 500% in the next two to three years through our own ecommerce site, wholesale, marketplaces and expanding our presence overseas.”

Claire added: “We saw a gap in the market for a sustainable cashmere brand offering contemporary styles made in the softest high-quality cashmere. Sustainability is the heart of brand from the way we source our sustainably accredited yarn, who we select as expert makers to craft our styles, our small production runs and the use of recyclable and compostable packaging.”

Initial investors in Loop Cashmere included Tony Thwaites and Tracy Lewis who is now company chairman.

Alex McWhirter, chief executive of Finance Yorkshire, said: “Our Growth fund supports ambitious SMEs like Loop Cashmere to grow and create jobs across the Yorkshire and Humber region.

“In just two years Loop Cashmere has developed a strong brand with sustainable credentials which will appeal to fashion-conscious customers. We look forward to supporting them in the next chapter of their growth journey.”

Finance Yorkshire’s Growth fund is part of its newly launched fund which is expected to provide £50m to SMEs over the next five years. Investment is also available from its Seedcorn fund as well as through large and small business loans.