Courtaulds Brands, which made Pretty Polly lingerie and hosiery, has fallen into administration with the loss of 350 jobs.
The Derbyshire-based manufacturer, which also makes branded and private label clothing for retailers in the UK and internationally, ceased production yesterday.
The company employed 380 staff at its Belper and London sites.
The main reason for the demise of the company is attributed to the impact of the administration of BHS, a major customer, and the declining volume of sales and profitability over the recent period.
Employees were informed of the news at 2pm yesterday.
Beth Somi, who joined Courtaulds as legwear marketing manager in September 2013, told Lingerie Insight: “We all know that the market is tough but none of us expected this. It is such a sad announcement with so many people having worked in the factory all their working lives.
“Most of us left in tears and not quite believing it was the end of Pretty Polly and the factory at West Mill.”
Lita Cheetham has worked for the company for 39 years and is another member of staff to lose her job.
She told the Derbyshire Telegraph: “I’m devastated and in shock. I don’t know what I’m going to do, it’s come completely out of the blue. We were doing a money-saving offer to keep the company going.”
It is understood that lingerie brands Gossard and Berlei, which were acquired by Courtaulds in 2007, are continuing to trade as usual.
Lingerie Insight is awaiting comment from the two brands.
Dilip Dattani and Patrick Ellward, of RSM Restructuring Advisory, have been appointed as joint administrators.
Dattani said in a statement: “The administration of BHS has added to the challenge of operating within a fiercely competitive market for seasonal products. This has left the directors with little choice but to place the companies into Administration.
“Regrettably, we have been forced to make 350 employees redundant to align with the current order book, and we are assisting them with their claims to the Redundancy Payments Service. We are currently engaging with the key customers to assess their ongoing orders and delivery schedules.”