“When John Smedley 2nd assumed responsibility for running his father’s factory, Lea Mills, in 1825 the idea that his activities, and the activities of other industrialists, were having a negative impact on the environment was not a consideration.

Since then, our company has survived through many decades, perhaps making us one of the most sustainable businesses – in a sense – ever to have been formed. As well as the good times, our company has survived through several global recessions, the Great Depression, two World Wars, many diverse changes in fashion and society, and the careers of 60 British Prime Ministers.


Today, I, as the father of two small children and the latest member of the founding family to run the business, am obliged by my conscience to move John Smedley Ltd towards a more environmentally and socially sustainable mode of operation. To this end, several colleagues and I have formed a team to begin to address the many and varied issues that arise under the banner of sustainability. I recognise it is a long road we need to travel, but I am determined that my inheritors will assume responsibility for a firm that operates in a more sustainable way than it does today.”


- Ian Maclean, Managing Director, March 2015

Our Environmental Policy

Our Lea Mills factory is at the heart of a world heritage site, which means we have a responsibility to the local environment...

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Sustainability Management

Now that our Sustainability Programme is in place, a key element will be checking it is operating effectively in practice...

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Key Performance Indicators

Based on the work that has been done already, the company can demonstrate significant improvements in some important sustainability measures...

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Lea Mills: Our Home since 1784

We take pride in our Derbyshire roots - our Lea Mills factory and the people who help make us who we are...

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Our Local Spring Water

The water we use to create John Smedley knitwear comes from three underground springs that rise from the millstone grit of the Derbyshire Peak District National Park...

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Social Responsibility

We source ethically produced materials, engage with our employees and use energy saving techniques wherever possible...

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Working with our Suppliers

John Smedley has built lasting partnerships with all its suppliers. We trust them to provide only the highest quality materials and service...

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The Rumour Mill

This film is not just about energy, it is also about community, living life to the full, British manufacturing and most of all coming together to talk about and bring about change...

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Our Recyclable Packaging

When our garments are despatched to our customers in-store and online we feel it is imperative that they are presented in the most exclusive manner, to complete the John Smedley shopping experience...

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