Wool is one of mankind’s earliest-known forms of all-weather clothing, and was first worn by Stone Age Man for his berry-foraging and mammoth-hunting lifestyle some 2.5 million years ago. Thankfully, today’s Metropolitan Man enjoys an altogether more refined style of knitwear than the capes and skirts of AW5,000BC, and that’s due in no small part to the efforts of one particular British company: John Smedley.
Mr Tim Clark, the brand’s technical director, is in charge of the production of John Smedley’s world famous heavy gauge merino wool and Sea Island cotton knitwear from, “fleece to garment”, which means he oversees everything from the welfare of sheep that graze the green grass of New Zealand, to ensuring farmers in Barbados get a fair price for growing fluffy white, extra-long staple cotton.
“It’s like the foundation of a house,” says Mr Clark. “Everything rests upon the fact that the finished garments are biodegradable and ethically sourced.”