Latest News | 23 May 2024

Historic knitwear manufacturer granted Royal Warrant

John Smedley
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Fine knitwear manufacturer John Smedley is toasting a landmark anniversary in style after being granted the Royal Warrant.

The firm, which is this year celebrating its 240th anniversary, has announced it has been granted the Royal Warrant of Appointment by His Majesty King Charles III.

Based at Lea Mills in Derbyshire since 1784, John Smedley is the oldest, still-operational knitwear maker in the world.

Ian Maclean MBE, John Smedley’s managing director and grantee of the Royal Warrant, said: “This year is our family company’s 240th anniversary manufacturing fine knitwear in Derbyshire.

“It is a great privilege and honour to have been granted the Royal Warrant of Appointment by His Majesty the King and all our colleagues, shareholders and business partners will be delighted by this news.

“We remain committed to manufacturing all of our garments in Britain and have recently opened our factory to third party manufacturing again after 40 years, which we expect will be a growth opportunity for ourselves and those brands interested in re-shoring in the next few years.”

Specialising in exquisite merino, John Smedley’s Sea Island Cotton and cashmere, the firm’s brand is renowned globally for its craftsmanship and commitment to quality.

John Smedley has been popular with the Royal family for many years, with Her Majesty the Queen visiting the factory twice, first in 1968 and again in 2014.

The brand has previously held Royal Warrants from Her Majesty the Queen and the then Prince of Wales for the manufacturing of fine knitwear.

John Smedley has also been involved with a number of the charities supported by His Royal Highness the King and Her Majesty the Queen including The Campaign for Wool, to champion the benefits of sustainable and natural fibres, and The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, which supports British craftsmanship.

Last month, John Smedley announced it will reopen its production lines to brands for seasonal orders for the first time in more than 40 years.

This strategic initiative, which saw the brand invest upwards of £3 million in its own factories, aims to encourage brands to bring knitwear manufacturing back to UK shores.

By boosting the factory’s output, it will also futureproof the company and support local jobs while inspiring more brands to make goods closer to home.

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