In 2021 Johnstons of Elgin, known globally for its fine cashmere clothing, luxury home accessories and fabrics, won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development. This award recognises organisations for developing products and services that have a positive impact on the environment, society and economy. The award highlighted the way Johnstons of Elgin constantly reviews each step it takes to ensure it holds true to its core values of sustainability and community, from grassland preservation in Mongolia (where it sources its cashmere) to the certification of the fibres it purchases for weaving, and the manufacturing processes used to create its luxurious finished products.
Johnstons of Elgin has always been focused on looking after its employees and adheres to the Living Wage, while being on a constant quest to preserve traditional skills and identify the craftspeople of the future as early as possible. Its Schools Interaction Programme works with primary and secondary school children, helping them prepare skills for work and offering them an insight into the diverse career opportunities available within its business. Every year, students from the areas surrounding its Elgin mill and Hawick site take part in a tour to decide which aspects of the business they’re most interested in. As part of the Career Ready Programme, the brand offers in-depth visits to a specific department in the business, followed by an opportunity to take part in a mock interview and mentoring and master classes. It also provides short internship opportunities for local students and support for class projects in subjects such as chemistry, languages, and marketing and PR.
As an accredited Scottish Qualification Agency Assessment Centre, more than 100 of its employees have qualified through the Modern Apprenticeships programme at Elgin. It also has a Training School at Hawick. Indeed, the brand has won several awards in recognition for its work in training, supporting, and developing young people, as well as for excellence in human resources. These include the Investors in Young People Award, PWC Family Business of the Year and HR Cherries Award.
Johnstons of Elgin is proud to have been the main employer in Elgin for the last 225 years. Today, it employs over a 1,000 local people across its two Scottish mills, including some multi-generational families. Over 100 of its staff have served for over 20 years, and the current longest serving member of staff has been with the brand for over 46 years.
At the brand’s core is its ethos of ‘buy less and buy better’. Luxurious designs for the home include indulgent cashmere fabrics and throws in beautiful hues and much-loved textural herringbone designs – and not forgetting the essential classic checks for which the brand is renowned. Cashmere and fine wool composites ensure fabrics and throws are durable, insulating and sensuously soft. All of Johnstons of Elgin’s products are made to last, and to this end the brand offers a mending service ensuring that its knitwear endures as long as the customer wants it. The company intuitively understands and believes that buying a luxury items is an investment, so by offering such a service it ensures its customers can buy with confidence and complete peace of mind.
With products that are nurtured and rigorously reviewed at every step of their journey, it’s only natural that the brand likes to see its products standing the test of time, guaranteeing luxurious comfort for generations to come.