First Shetland employee-owned knitwear company

Laurence Odie Knitwear was founded on Shetland’s south mainland in 2004. Operating from premises on the edge of Hoswick, the company is part of an unbroken presence of knitwear manufacturers in the same location which stretches back for a century.

Laurence Odie Knitwear operates the Shetland Woollen Co. brand and its primary focus is on the manufacture and wholesale of high-quality garments.

In 2019, when looking to retire from the day to day running of the company, Laurence Odie sold his 100% stake to an employee ownership trust, establishing Shetland’s only 100% employee-owned knitwear business.

While Laurence remains on the board to facilitate a smooth gradual handover, the business is now led by joint Directors Sarah Riley and Louise Laurenson. Retaining the link between the company and the community was a major factor in the founder’s decision to transfer ownership, leaving a lasting legacy for jobs and skills in the area.

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