2020 marks the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is an iconic British figure, who grew up at Lea Hurst, her Derbyshire family home. As a teenager at Lea Hurst, Florence was deeply influenced by the countryside and the villages surrounding her home, where she developed her world changing ideas on health, wellness and education.

With her mother, Florence visited local families in the villages of Crich and Lea that surround the John Smedley factory where many members of the community were working. Florence tended to the sick and infirm and helped to teach the young children to read and write. Her family were instrumental in funding both the local doctor and the head teacher of the primary school.

The Nightingale family had been pivotal in the founding of the John Smedley factory in 1784 as both financiers and landlords. In 1893, John Smedley became a Limited Company (company number 40,000), and it’s first official act was to purchase the freehold of the Lea Mills factory from the Nightingale family, including Florence, who then in her 73rd year was a signatory to the deed. The link between John Smedley and Florence Nightingale was forged forever.

In honour of her, John Smedley are delighted to introduce a limited-edition collection. Showcasing Florence’s  iconic blue and white hues, each piece from the Nightingale collection will feature gold embroidery of her signature, which has been replicated in exacting detail from the John Smedley company deed.

Further pieces within the collection feature embroidery of a golden owl within the pocket of garments as a tribute to ‘The Little Beastie’ Florence’s pet owl and companion Athena, who used to accompany Florence on her visits across the Lea area by sitting in the pockets of her own garments.

The collection features special packaging to tell the story of Florence Nightingale’s legacy and her connections to the John Smedley brand, and in honour of Florence’s work 20% of all proceeds will be donated to the Nightingale Nurses.

Released on the 1st May 2020, the collection will be available at John Smedley stores, www.johnsmedley.com and selected retail partners, with prices from £125.

As a final showcase of the bond between the company and the story of Florence Nightingale further, the campaign photoshoot took place in Florence’s home in Lea, Derbyshire across her favourite rooms of the house including her study, terrace and reading room.