The Cordwainers are committed to supporting British footwear by providing bursaries and awards for footwear design students and forging ties with some of the great companies in the British footwear industry.
The Company is proud of its links with the industry. Many of our members are professionals within the industry, working with companies such as Start-Rite Shoes, Joseph Cheaney and Sons, Jeffery-West, Pentland Brands, Paul Smith, Foster and Son and John Lobb.
The Cordwainers Charitable Trusts and the Cordwainers Educational and Training Charitable Trust Company (CET) provide scholarships, bursaries and prizes to students of footwear and leather goods.
Footwear courses are offered in the UK at De Montfort University, London College of Fashion, the University of Northampton and Capel Manor College. In addition, the Company celebrates and promotes the work of footwear students through the annual Cordwainers Footwear Awards.
The Cordwainers have supported DMU students on the footwear design course since 2009. Recent grants have provided student travel costs for industry visits overseas and in the UK, support for summer internships, an employability development fund, design innovation awards and hardship funds.
Cordwainers at LCF originated as an independent trade school. Founded in Bethnal Green in 1887, it was a joint project between the Worshipful Companies of Cordwainers and Leathersellers, the City and Guilds of London Institute and the Boot and Shoe Manufacturers’ Association. It became Cordwainers Technical College in 1913 and in 2000 merged with LCF, moving from Mare Street in Hackney to Golden Lane near the Barbican. Recent charitable grants from the CET have provided student prizes, a travel scholarship, hardship funds, work placement bursaries and support for the LCF Footwear Symposium workshops, seminars and showcases.
The Cordwainers support University of Northampton students on the fashion design courses who elect to specialise in footwear or leatherwork. Recent grants have supported internship awards, a student innovation fund, a guest speaker programme, a student portfolio development fund and an internship award.
The Cordwainers have supported the students taking the saddlery and leatherwork course at the Capel Manor College site in Enfield since the transfer of the course from the former Cordwainers College at Mare Street, Hackney, in 2000. The Cordwainers began supporting the students on an advanced diploma in shoemaking at the college in 2017.