Nicholas Brooke tells it straight. “You won’t find a better quality T-shirt anywhere else.” It’s a big claim, but one the Sunspel CEO backs wholeheartedly, and upon even just feeling the fabric of one of the garments in question, it’s hard to disagree. This is how a T-shirt should be: soft, simple and completely void of pretension. “We have perfected and refined the small details over many years to create the perfect range of T-shirts,” says Nicholas, proudly. “A Sunspel T-shirt will last longer and age beautifully.” The same notions of simplicity and durability apply to the rest of the brand’s unfussy staples, which range from knitwear to boxer shorts and encompass practically everything in between. These are pieces designed to last – they beg to be worn time and again in various guises, and the conscientious approach with which they’re produced allows for it.
Such stringent attention to quality dates back: Sunspel has prided itself on its ability to seamlessly marry the values of craftsmanship and innovation since its establishment in 1860. Its founder Thomas Hill was a leading British industrialist who paved the way for the development of luxury undergarments, utilising extra fine cotton to create everyday clothing for quality-conscious men. Over a century and a half later, Thomas’ vision endures: an emphasis on luxurious fabrics and finely-tuned manufacturing techniques forms the underlying basis of Sunspel’s approach to production. “We consider key materials to be those essential to the everyday wardrobe, constructed in a way that is unique to us,” says Nicholas. Cotton, oft underrated, is one such example and the type used by Sunspel, known as Sea Island cotton, is one of the world’s rarest, making up only 0.0004 per cent of the world’s cotton supplies. Thomas extols its virtues: “Our cotton is unique in the way that we source the finest, long-staple cottons in the world, offering its wearer a softness and suppleness that’s less prone to deformation and pilling… From the sourcing of cotton bulbs, to the weaving of our cotton, and the final cutting, sewing and packaging that takes place in our factory in Long Eaton, we are able to guarantee a softness that’s second to none.”