In business for over 200 years, John Smedley produces some of best knitwear in England. Unlike many other makers, they also take great pride in how they source their wool and create their sweaters. From a recent Monocle article on the ethical manufacturing:
Ultimately, heritage companies who kept their production close to home have found themselves on the ethical high ground. The John Smedley knitwear factory in Derbyshire employs 350 people at its HQ and has built up an identity based on quality and good practice. John Smedley’s Aussie CEO, Andrew Caughey, doesn’t need to foist ethical virtues on his consumers. “We certainly look after our employees well,” he says. “We take responsibility at every stage of production, right back to source. So, what you have is a safe purchase. We don’t need to sell on ethics. There’s great trust in the product.”
Despite its long history and great products, the company is a bit under-appreciated here in the U.S. I think, probably due to weak retail distribution. Luckily just about the entire catalog can be purchased online – styles can range from classic to quirky, so there’s something for everyone.