Richard Haworth can be seen as an example of the classic Victorian entrepreneur who rose from virtual poverty to wealth and recognition by industry and application of the Samuel Smiles self help tenets.
Since he was fourteen he had been a small trader in fents and other cloths and by 1852, aged 32, he had accumulated £5,000 in his own account and, in partnership with A Frederick Copley Hulton and a James Craven, began trading as yarn and cloth commission agents with the title Richard Haworth & Co in Cannon Street Manchester.
At their peak, the mills in Ordsall Lane were considered first class examples of how cotton mills should be operated. A number of distinguished visitors came to view the complex, Lord Beaconsfield, the Shah of Persia, and the Sultan of Zanzibar’s signatures appearing in the Visitors Book.
In August 1961, the Richard Haworth Companies merged with Vantona-Everwear, changing its name to Vatona Limited. In the 1980's business was sold to the Ruia Group where it relocated to Kearsley Mill, a 240,000 sq ft Victorian Mill that opened in 1906.
From the 1980s to the early 2000s, many key developments were made to the ﬁrm, making Richard Haworth the industry leader it is today. Revolutionary products such as Signature, a polyester table linen with a soft touch finish, and Prima, a cotton rich bed linen range, were the first of their kind in the hospitality industry which have now become industry standards.
Richard Haworth has been an active member of the Ethical Trade Initiative, and we promote the values to all our partners and prospective mills. As members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BTI), since May 2018, over 15% of our cotton consumption is sourced from better cotton, and we aim to increase this to 50% by 2025.