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Fashion brands among winners at Queen’s Awards

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

26 Apr 2016

Footwear brands Joseph Cheaney and Base London, along with men’s tailoring retailer Charles Tyrwhitt have been given Queen’s Awards for enterprise in international trade.

Named on the Queen’s 90th birthday, all three businesses were recognised for their sales growth in international markets, as well as “flying the British flag” around the world.

“I am delighted that Joseph Cheaney has been honoured with one of the highest awards for British Business, The Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade,” said Jonathan Church, joint managing director Joseph Cheaney. “It’s a great accolade to receive the award in 2016; a year that not only celebrates the 90th birthday of the Queen, but also the 130th anniversary of our company. For us, the award also demonstrates how quality products ‘Made in England’ are recognised the world over.”

Since Church led a management buyout of the heritage footwear brand in 2009, the company has seen its turnover more than doubled from 4 million to 9.6 million pounds, while exports have tripled and now account for nearly a third of the company’s sales. 80 percent of export sales are from Europe and The Far East, with Italy being Cheaney’s biggest market in Europe, and Japan their largest export market overall.

This marks the third time Joseph Cheaney has been awarded a Queen’s Award, with the previous honours being in 1966 and 1971.

Joseph Cheaney, Base London, and Charles Tyrwhitt named Queen’s Awards winners

2016 also marks an important year for Base London, it celebrates its 21st anniversary, and it has been developing a strong international business with its footwear now sold in 20 countries, with global sales of more than 10 million pounds.

“Since the launch of Base London we have been committed not only to driving our sales and brand awareness in new international markets but have also passionately flown the flag for the great work delivered by the UK in terms of contemporary men’s footwear,” explained Base London chairman, David Conibere. “To have our efforts recognised by Her Majesty The Queen is thrilling for everyone at Base London.”

150 businesses were recognised for enterprise in international trade and along with footwear brands Joseph Cheaney and Base London, men’s shirtmaker Charles Tyrwhitt were also honoured.

In addition, seven businesses received awards for enterprise in sustainable development, including The Fairtrade Foundation, which was recognised for its work empowering small-scale farmers and workers in developing countries to drive their own sustainable development within a world trade system that is often stacked against small producer communities.

The Fairtrade Foundation chief executive officer Michael Gidney said: “We are honoured and delighted to have gained this prestigious award from Her Majesty for a second time in Fairtrade’s 20-year history.

“This award is a boost for all of the businesses and campaigners who support Fairtrade, but it is also welcome recognition for the incredible efforts of producers around the world who work tirelessly to innovate and improve their products, and who have used Fairtrade as a means of building stronger businesses and communities.”

In addition, real estate company British Land, which owns shopping centres and retail parks including Meadowhall and Drake Circus, were also recognised for enterprise in sustainable development.

Business secretary, Sajid Javid, added: “The Queen’s Awards are a great way of celebrating the best of British business. Whether you’re a disruptive start-up making life easier for your customers or a large company with a blockbuster product, these awards recognise your contribution to enterprise.

“We are a country full of exciting and innovative businesses that deserve to be celebrated. I’d like to commend all the winners for their hard work in creating jobs for people and driving our growing economy.”

Images: Joseph Cheaney and Base London