Sunspel is a Name You Can Trust

Sometimes a word doesn’t do justice to what it’s describing, and in the case of Sunspel, basics is a good example. The brand has been around since 1860, a time before typewriters and telephones, never mind computers.

This was an era when clothing manufacture provided work for a vast amount of the population and in Newdigate, Nottingham, Thomas Hill founded a factory making the aforementioned basics.

Though underwear and hosiery were made to last, Hill’s vision was powered by a lifetime of knowledge in the textile industry and he wanted to be remembered as more than just another manufacturer. He set amount creating beauty in the everyday clothing worn by people, unfussy yet high quality and comfortable.

Sunspel keeps this blueprint at its very core to this day.

In an era when long distance travel was usually arduous, Hill embraced the overseas, both in terms of exporting his goods and importing the raw materials to make them. Through this, Sunspel became the first brand to use Sea Island Cotton, a rare Caribbean version which only helped to enhance the Sunspel name as one of luxury.

As the 20th century got underway, what we now accept as a t-shirt began, ostensibly as an undergarment, and Sunspel once again led the way.

Though the story of the brand extends back to the middle of Queen Victoria’s reign, the actual Sunspel name wasn’t adopted until 1935, as a nod towards the famed fine cottons it imported from far flung places where Sunny Spells were common.

In the same decade, Sunspel relocated to its long term home in Long Eaton, where it briefly assisted with the war effort, making utility clothing.

By 1947 Sunspel introduced the concept of the Boxer Short to the UK. John Hill, the Great Grandson of Thomas Hill spent his honeymoon in the US and felt a modified version of the popular underwear stateside would work well back in his homeland.

The modern era for Sunspel really began when an iconic television ad for an entirely different brand set pulses racing. Levi’s famous mid-80s advert featured model Nick Kamen, removing his denim jeans in a laundrette before washing them, then waiting. This moment is credited with popularising the adoption of boxer shorts en masse in the UK, and Sunspel were of course the brand Kamen was wearing.

More recently, Daniel Craig wore a specially designed Sunspel outfit for his debut as James Bond in Casino Royale, in 2006. A few years later, the first standalone Sunspel store opened in Shoreditch, London, and was soon followed by a number of additional retail spaces around the world.

More than 160 years after its humble East Midlands beginnings, Sunspel has a compelling story to tell, and it does so through its clothing. 

Shop the best of Sunspel now here at The Sporting Lodge.