Sunspel is an entry in our Great British Brands 2024 book.
Sunspel: Great British Brand 2024
‘The vision of our founder was to make everyday luxury clothing from the world’s finest materials and the brand is still committed to this vision today. The fabrics that we use are extremely fine, soft, lightweight and difficult to work with. Consequently, the human touch has always been a crucial part of making our clothes which become long-lasting, wardrobe favourites. The Sunspel classic T-shirt is made in our factory at Long Eaton where we employ around 30 people. Every T-shirt goes through 12 careful steps carried out by enormously skilled craftspeople. At the end of the process, each T-shirt is finished by a member of staff who places a sticker bearing his or her name on the garment, allowing every customer to see the name of the person who finished the T-shirt. Every time I visit our factory, I am struck by the enormous care our team take over the making of what, for many, might appear to be a simple garment.
The skills we need are not easily picked up and we are fortunate to have a loyal workforce. Some employees have been with the company for decades and we have several generations of the same families working for us. People stay with our brand because of the way we look after them. This personal approach extends to the way we treat our customers, whether in our stores or online.
AI is clearly gathering enormous momentum: every day we read about its potential. Sunspel has always been an innovative brand and we are excited by the opportunity AI brings. I can see how it might help brands in different ways, but at the moment it’s a distant prospect for Sunspel. Probably its first applications with us would be to support the team with analysing data rather than more front-facing activities.’
Raul Verdicchi, CEO
Five Proudest Moments
1. Thomas Hill establishing the business in Nottingham in 1860 with a vision to craft luxurious everyday clothing from the world’s finest natural materials.
2. Making some of the world’s earliest T-shirts in the early 1900s. The Sunspel classic T-shirt is still made in our British factory.
3. Introducing the boxer short to Britain in 1947. In 1985 Nick Kamen famously wore a pair in the celebrated Levi’s laundrette advert.
4. Collaborating with costume designer Lindy Hemming in 2006 to dress James Bond in Casino Royale, tailoring the Riviera polo shirt for Daniel Craig.
5. Opening our first US store on Mercer Street, New York City, in 2018. Sunspel also has American stores on Madison Avenue and in Marin County, California.
What I’ve Learnt
- What a great foundation Sunspel has.
- The genuine affection in which the brand is held by its customers.
- As a newish CEO, the importance of understanding the brand, the business, and its people.
13-15 Chiltern Street, London W1U 7PG
+44 (0)20 7009 0650