Successful Design Principles and Contemporary Classics
John Smedley is a British clothing company that manufactures in the same mill in which they began in 1784, in their Lea Mills factory in Matlock, Derbyshire, not too far from where we work in Nottingham.
John Smedley are proud to design and make all of their products in England and are particularly proud of its Derbyshire roots. Today, John Smedley consists of four generations of Smedley sons who have continually endeavoured to provide good design through relying on Great British craftsmanship.
John Smedley’s design principles are why it is still successful today, 225 years on – these being good design combined with high quality craftsmanship and materials. Iconic John Smedley designs include the Isis three-button polo shirt; Leander, the long-sleeved polo and their Pembroke roll collar pullovers.
One of the things Joff and Ollie find particularly delightful is buying the jumpers direct from the factory in Derbyshire. No slick high street, flagship store or special presentation, just a small shop in the village of Lea, which is dominated by the John Smedley factory. Although this is a nearly 300 year old mill in a traditional countryside destination, as a way to shop, it is more relevant than ever. A local shop that sells locally made jumpers? The initial idea seems antiquated but in reality it is the kind of sustainable shopping we need to do.
John Smedley is an ‘expensive’ jumper by most people’s standards, however it’s not as expensive when you know how long they last, how they wash and the quality of fit and finish. It’s also not as expensive as buying cheap jumpers made on the other side of the world, which are destined for the landfill the following year.
John Smedley’s classic designs are reliable, which is why Lane director Joff Casciani has a different John Smedley cardigan for every day of the week! Her Majesty the Queen has been buying John Smedley knitwear for a number of years, which recently granted them the Royal Warrant of Appointment. Indeed it was Joff who recommend them to the Queen when she came round for tea.
Photographs courtesy of John Smedley.
Check out our Pinterest board ‘Lane’s Best of British brands’ for images of more inspiring British companies and their products.