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Sunspel

British Clothing Brand
Brand Profile

Since 1860, British clothing company Sunspel Clothing has woven threads of innovation, quality craftsmanship, and everyday luxury into its fabric. When visionary Nottingham hosiery factory owner Thomas Hill established the company, he aimed to create beautiful, enduring garments from the world’s most exceptional materials. Cashmere, merino wool, silk, and Sea Island cotton adorned Hill’s designs, which he focused on perfecting for beauty and comfort.

As Sunspel grew into a globally recognized purveyor of luxury clothing by the early 1900s, the company weathered downturns like the Great Depression. After smartly adopting the sunshine-evoking name “Sunspel” in 1935 as a nod to its Caribbean Sea Island cotton, the brand relocated its primary factory to Long Eaton in 1937, where 50 master craftspeople still produce signature Sunspel T-shirts today using legacy machines.

Through World War II fabric rationing, Sunspel briefly pivoted to utility clothing production but soon returned to indulgent fabrics post-war. As Thomas Hill demonstrated a century prior, successive generations upheld textile innovation as part of Sunspel’s DNA. The founder’s great-grandson, John Hill, introduced the boxer short to Britain in 1947 after reengineering the American concept for optimal comfort. Grandson Peter Hill also revolutionized lightweight polo shirts by inventing a specialty fabric, “Quality 75.”

Beyond material and design breakthroughs, Sunspel Clothing also became prominent in popular culture. The brand’s clothing made high-profile big-screen appearances in sleek spy blockbusters like James Bond’s “Casino Royale” and fashion magazine editorial spreads. Sunspel has partnered on capsule collections with avant-garde designers such as Jonathan Anderson and heritage labels like Paul Smith. Demand skyrocketed when a 1985 Levi’s commercial featured Sunspel’s boxer shorts.

Now exporting to worldwide destinations like New York and Tokyo after over 150 years in business, Sunspel remains dedicated to its legacy of exceptional workmanship and lasting everyday staples. While expanding into loungewear, women’s lines, outerwear, and accessories, Thomas Hill’s initial commitment to quality luxury executed with finesse continues to shine through in each Sunspel garment.

Industries

Clothing

Founded

1860

HEADQUARTERS

Long Eaton, UK

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