Sunspel makes beautiful, everyday clothing designed to form the foundation of the modern luxury wardrobe. We have been handcrafting garments in the UK for over 160 years, building a global reputation for uncompromising quality, timeless design and luxury fabrics in the process.
We believe in making clothes with care and this extends over everything we do, from the sources of our materials to the people that we work with. We have a strong sense of tradition, history and craft but we do not rely on our past, rather we use it to shape our future.
Sunspel was founded in 1860 by Thomas Hill, an innovator in the world of fabric development who brought an enlightened and progressive attitude to textile manufacturing. His dream was to create the finest underwear by combining luxurious fabrics with contemporary designs.
“Some brands do simple things and they do them really well: the finest fabrics, the most minimal designs. Sunspel is one such brand. English to its core, its innovation and design are based on the knitting machines and cotton that founder Thomas Hill first developed 160 years ago.”
Sunspel sits at the opposite end of the spectrum to ‘fast fashion’ having always made products of long-lasting quality. We are still committed to this philosophy today and focus on timeless style over short-term trends in order to create simple, durable wardrobe essentials. We remain a family-style business and source our materials direct from farmers.
Although our practices have developed over time, we stick to a key set of values:
We design clothes that will last.
We care for our employees and ensure that our suppliers care for theirs.
We source materials from partners that are ethically and environmentally responsible.
Sunspel has been a family business for most of its 160-year history. Founded in Nottingham, the capital of Britain’s hosiery and lace industry, the business moved to its current Long Eaton location in 1937. Sunspel is the only brand to manufacture luxury T-shirts from its own factory in the UK. While the technology in our factory may have changed in the last 80 years, our commitment to community and a job well done remains the same.
Today, we also work with other specialist factories in Britain and Europe. When we do, we apply the knowledge and expertise gained from our long experience to find the best. Many of the businesses we work with are small and family-owned, and they all share our beliefs about quality, ethical working practices and environmental responsibility.
Sunspel is one of a very small number of authentic British heritage brands and we have been handcrafting garments and innovating unique fabrics in the UK for over 160 years. Over time our wardrobe classics have become a part of Britain’s cultural heritage. We were among the first manufacturers of T-shirts in the late 1800s, we introduced the Boxer Short to the UK in 1947 and our Riviera Polo Shirt was tailored for the ultimate icon of British style: James Bond.
“When it comes to wardrobe essentials, Sunspel reigns supreme. It has done for over 160 years. Even the name itself – like the British brand’s trusted range of T-shirts, polo shirts, boxer shorts and sweatshirts – is soft and simple and reassuring.”
Our founder, Thomas Hill, had both an eye for quality and a desire to innovate. As well as using the finest fibres such as Sea Island cotton, cashmere and silk, he invented his own fabrics. Sunspel continues this commitment to innovation today and our unique fabrics include: Q100 Sea Island cotton, Q82 Supima cotton, Q75 warp knit mesh cotton and Q14 warp knit cellular cotton. The technology behind these fabrics remains unchanged today and all Sunspel products use the finest cottons, wools and fibres.