The CEO of one of Britain’s oldest workwear firms has received the highest honour that the City of London can bestow – the Freedom of the City of London in recognition of his contribution to the textile industry.
Tamworth-based Wearwell has strong connections with the laundry industry, dating back to its launch in 1939. Wright, who took over as CEO last year, has enjoyed a long and varied career in the textiles field and was recently inducted into the Worshipful Company of Launderers, one of around 100 liveries to the City of London.
As a Livery, the Worshipful Company of Launderers is able to nominate someone to receive the Freedom of the City of London – a title that has been held by an illustrious list of Freemen including Lord Nelson, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Theodore Roosevelt and Florence Nightingale. More recent recipients include JK Rowling, Bob Geldof, Michael Caine and Stephen Fry.
Richard Wright said: “Receiving the Freedom of the City of London is no doubt the pinnacle of my career and an achievement that I’m incredibly proud of. It is tied to so much history and tradition and acknowledges the contributions of some of the most talented people in the world. It was a very special moment, shared with my family, and an honour that I treasure. Wearwell has such strong connections to the laundry industry and even today, is closely tied to it.”
Those admitted to the Freedom of the City of London take part in a ceremony dating back to the 13th century at Guildhall. While many of the perks associated with becoming a Freeman of the City of London can be traced back to medieval times and are now obsolete – such as the freedom to walk sheep across London Bridge without paying a toll– it serves to recognise the achievements and contributions made by a diverse section of people across a range of industries and professions.