The Smedley family joined the move in the Derwent Valley towards the production of finished garments, rather than just fabric and thread. The Jay became a reliable symbol of luxury underwear, and ‘Long John’s’ undoubtedly originate from these factories. The industrial revolution marked the start of the growth of branding. Think about the brands you wear today- they are often more than just a mark of ownership and quality: what do they say about your identity?
The company turned to making stylish outerwear in the 1930s. It now exports to over 26 countries world-wide and is famous for using natural, luxury fibres. Colour, craftsmanship, design, and above all quality are key to having gained the Royal Warrant. Still a family-owned company, it is one of just a handful of manufacturers based entirely in the UK and at the forefront of British Fashion.
Chosen in 1876, the jay logo is now used by the John Smedley Archive Charitable Trust. Look out for the eye-catching jay as you follow the track through the woods to Aqueduct Cottage.