A GUISELEY business founded nearly two centuries ago has been heralded as a shining example of how heritage businesses can modernise and adapt for the decades ahead, a local parliamentary candidate has said.

Katie White, the Labour parliamentary candidate for the new Leeds North West constituency, which covers Guiseley, was visiting the headquarters of Abraham Moon & Sons, the historic wool fabric manufacturers based on Netherfield Road, Guiseley.

Abraham Moon & Sons is synonymous with wool around the world. The company, which employs over 200 people, was founded in 1837 and enjoys an international reputation with customers including Chanel and Ralph Lauren. Its processes take raw wool right through to finished fabrics, and over the last 187 years, its focus on quality has enabled it to survive economic downturns and competition from overseas manufacturers and synthetic materials.

Yet, the historic company is also taking a fresh look at how it can have a more positive impact on both its workforce and the environment. In recent years, Abraham Moon has installed over 520 solar panels across the roof of its woollen mill, and has been a local leader in recycling, meticulously sorting all waste that moves through the mill to ensure proper disposal. They are also prioritising their workforce and have become a “mindful employer” in recent years.

Ms White is a leading campaigner on the environment and climate change. In 2013, she was awarded the OBE for her work on the Climate Change Act as a campaigner with Friends of the Earth and later as a civil servant at the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

She said: “I was hugely impressed with the leadership team and the approach they’re taking both to their staff and to their impact in the world. It is incredibly inspiring to see how a company that has survived for over 185 years is now applying itself to today's challenge of minimising its impact on the environment, alongside staff wellbeing.

“Moon are a key part of the local economy and local heritage. Not only has the company weathered numerous economic storms by maintaining the highest quality and keeping abreast of changing fashions, but they are also showing vision in rising to environmental challenges. It shows how a great business can strive to be a green business.”