80 Years in the Life of a British Factory

Celebrating 80 Years of Sunspel in Long Eaton.

While Sunspel may have an international reputation, with stores in London, Berlin and Tokyo, and stockists the world over, our beginnings are a little more humble.

The Sunspel company was originally established in Newdigate, Nottingham, with a large factory in what would become the heart of the British lace making industry. From this factory, Sunspel developed some of the earliest English T-Shirts ever made, as well as men’s cotton boxer shorts that were exported across the globe.

But in 1937, during the Great Depression and under the watchful eye of Thomas A. Hill, the grandson of Sunspel’s founder, the company moved their premises to a small English town just north of the River Trent – Long Eaton. It was from this factory that some of the brand’s most popular styles were developed, including the earliest British Boxer Short, which Sunspel created in 1947, and the now iconic Riviera Polo Shirt which was designed in the 1950s and updated in 2006 for Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale.


This same factory on Canal Street has remained in use for the last 80 years, growing to encompass Sunspel’s headquarters and design studio, as well as playing host to our dedicated team of craftspeople and seamstresses, many of whom come from families that have worked for Sunspel for generations.

To celebrate this milestone we are hosting a special exhibition in our Marylebone store, displaying rare garments and artefacts from our archive alongside photographs of the Long Eaton factory, offering a rare insight into the inner workings of a historic British factory.

Join Sunspel in celebrating 80 years of our Long Eaton factory, with a special drinks reception held at Sunspel Marylebone.

5th October from 6 – 9:30 PM.

Please email [email protected] to reserve your place.

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