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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
Family's ethical business awarded
Neil, Leigh and David Chadwick (left to right)
The firm recently launched a brand made with organic cotton
An ethical clothing firm run by three Cornish brothers has been named the best family business in the UK.

Wildlife Clothing was established 25 years ago by Don Chadwick and is now run by his sons Leigh, David and Neil, with outlets across Cornwall.

The firm sells ethical brands and their own recently-launched organic line of cotton grown by Turkish farmers.

The brothers have run the business collectively since the death of their father in 2001.

The business, which started out as an Army and Navy surplus shop, now has six shops in Cornwall and a turnover of 3.8m.

I think if our father could see what has been done with the business ... he would be absolutely ecstatic at what we have achieved
Leigh Chadwick

The family launched their first clothing line, Seasalt, in February using organic cotton that is free from insecticides.

They are now encouraging African farmers to switch to organic farming methods and have undertaken to start buying from them by 2008 in a Fair Trade agreement.

Leigh Chadwick, eldest of the brothers, said their philosophy was to build a lasting business while also taking their environmental and social responsibilities seriously.

He said: "The award recognises our business achievements as a family and the fact that we have ensured the continuing success of our father's business legacy, which is something we're very proud of and essentially what family businesses are all about.

"I think if our father could see what has been done with the business over the past four years he would be absolutely ecstatic at what we have achieved."

The firm are expanding outside Cornwall with a seventh shop opening in Totnes in June.

The firm was the national finalist in the Best Family Business awards which were run for the first time this year by Yell, publisher of the Yellow Pages.

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