Sailors can design their shoes

Chatham has launched its Made in Britain BYU range
Chatham has launched its Made in Britain BYU range
Chatham's Made in Britain BYU range is hand dyed
Chatham's Made in Britain BYU range is hand dyed
Industry Database

For those that want to design their own shoes, Chatham has launched its Made in Britain BYU range.

The range is hand dyed at Chatham’s headquarters in Exeter with ten colours available.

“It’s really unique, I don’t think anyone else is doing anything like this in boat shoes,” explained Chatham MD Philip Marsh.

“Stores can have an app so their customers can design their shoes which are made to order. There’s an element of personalisation.

“So far 30 stores have taken it on with the app, we couldn’t have asked anything more for a first season.”

Long process

He added: “The shoes are hand-dyed before the sole is put on. We can make up to around 300 pairs a day. We buy the uppers from abroad and do the finishing here.

“It’s been a long process of testing the materials and dyes. It has to be a good quality leather with no blemishes as colour will show these up even more.

“We’ve worked really hard to find a tannery that can provide the leather.”

The company – that currently exports around 25% of orders – is currently looking to expand into India and open its first store in China.

Comfort

“There’s big potential, it’s a real opportunity for us to expand,” said Philip. “It’s about education and marketing the brand properly.”

Chatham has also re-engineered its AquaGo collection and Sport collection.

“It’s a hybrid between a deck shoe and a trainer, sailors are moving away from wearing traditional shoes to shoes that are more like trainers,” explained Philip.

“We’ve worked really hard with material sand componentry to make sure comfort is key.”

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