Fashion & Accessories
Sunspel
Creating beautiful everyday clothing since 1860

In 2020 Sunspel celebrates its 160thanniversary. As the company reaches this notable milestone, its reputation for uncompromising quality, luxury fabrics and timeless design remains undiminished. The company was founded in Nottingham in 1860, moving its operations to the present site at Long Eaton in Derbyshire in 1937.

 

Sunspel has always used its history and lessons of the past to shape its future. The idea of ‘no waste luxury’ originated during the Second World War when the exigencies of rationing meant that clothes had to be made to last. The company remains committed to the philosophy of ‘no waste luxury’ today, valuing timeless style over short-term trends. Sunspel creates clothes that will last and is constantly reviewing how it works to improve its environmental standards.

 

‘The way we approach sustainability is to create clothes that you want to wear and that will last for a long time,’ says CEO, Nick Brooke. ‘Lots of my own Sunspel T-shirts are over five years old and still going strong.’ Many of the factories Sunspel works with in Britain and worldwide are small, family- owned businesses, which share Sunspel’s belief in quality, ethical working practices and environmental responsibility.

The way we approach sustainability is to create clothes that you want to wear and that will last a long time

Sunspel has now been making its products at its factory in Long Eaton for more than 80 years. This long period of continuity has created a strong sense of community and loyalty amongst its dedicated team of craftspeople and seamstresses. This year one employee celebrated 50 years at Sunspel, while another rejoined after more than
40 years, having first worked at the company as a 16-year-old. The handmade quality of the clothes and the artisan nature of the manufacturing process are reinforced by the fact that every T-shirt contains a sticker bearing the name of the person who made it.

 

In July 2019 Sunspel opened another London store on Chelsea’s Duke of York Square. This brought the number of Sunspel’s stores in London to six. The first was in Shoreditch, followed by others in Soho, Marylebone, Jermyn Street and Notting Hill. Each area has been carefully chosen for its neighbourhood character and the new stores reflect the brand’s continuing and growing popularity in its home market.

 

The brand’s popularity in Britain is more than matched by the popularity of British style in New York where Sunspel opened its first store in September 2018. Likewise, Sunspel has strong and long-established links with Japan, where it has five stores, based on a shared appreciation of craftsmanship and refined style, which has endured for more than 50 years.

 

‘In 2020, Sunspel will celebrate 160 years in business,’ says Nick Brooke. ‘Having survived the great depression and two world wars, we have evolved by adapting to the challenges of the time. In the 1940s we came up with the idea of “no waste luxury”; we remain committed to this philosophy today. Valuing timeless style over short-term trends makes us a brand that is relevant even as the world changes.’ The future looks bright indeed.