Bespoke tailors with a rich and illustrious heritage, Samuel Brothers was established in 1830 on Ludgate Hill, London, and have been at the heart of the livery and garment industry for hundreds of years. They opened premises on Oxford Street in 1915, before moving to Bartholomew Place and then into Clerkenwell Green. In 1993 the company relocated its offices to the Headquarters of The Royal Logistic Corps upon invitation, where it remained until 2016, when it moved into Aldershot, the Home of The British Army.

At the outbreak of World War One, the company focused on military garments and were commissioned by the War Office to produce the first waterproof coat for Officers of the British Army. In 2017, over a hundred years later, Samuel Brothers were appointed with a Royal Warrant as Tailors to HM the Queen.

Samuel Brothers in Essex

To this day, Samuel Brothers’ garments continue to be made domestically, and they proudly fly the ‘Made in Britain’ flag. Samuel Brothers made the most of the skills available in the local area when they started operating in Harwich in 2007.

“We have had some great continued support from Invest ESSEX who have, quite frankly, been exceptional, and really understand our business”.

Lee Dawson BEM
Managing Director
Samuel Brothers

Their Harwich location was set up in 2007 when Bernard Uniforms, (who had been in the town since 1897) were put into liquidation with the loss of 47 jobs. Samuel Brothers saw this as an opportunity to expand their operation by utilising the skillset of some of those staff. In 2015, Samuel Brothers closed their Leeds production and moved everything to Harwich, having increased their workforce to 14.

Samuel Brothers have also created a strong link with the Colchester Institute to help maintain and strengthen the skills in the local area to assist in student learning from a local resource and attract local people who are interested in bespoke tailoring as a career option.

Having experienced a recent revival in overseas interest, Samuel Brothers have sought to capture this business in order to maintain craft skills in the UK as well as offer an alternative to off-shoring textile manufacturing work.

The company also supply bespoke uniforms to several Fire Services nationally, as well as government departments, Trinity House, and the Royal Household.

How Invest ESSEX is working with Samuel Brothers

After being introduced by Essex County Council, Invest ESSEX have provided support to Samuel Brothers in the following ways:

  • Assisting with developing a robust business plan and financial budgets
  • Review of financing requirements to support growth aspirations
  • Securing appropriate finance and funding
  • Marketing and social media strategy development
  • PR and showcasing
  • Review of export plans and advice in risk mitigation/financing

As an SME there are very few people outside our own businesses that can offer advice. At a time when we are all busy, I have appreciated the sincerity of staff at Invest ESSEX, who have taken the time to learn about our business, and as a consequence they understand and appreciate our business challenges. I have been amazed at the resources that have been made available. For me, it is about the long-term relationship and not a ‘short fix’. I am continually grateful for the support.

Lee Dawson BEM
Managing Director
Samuel Brothers

Future Plans

Samuel Brothers are predominantly military tailors and have accreditation with some of the finest regiments in the British Army, however their export market has also recently grown significantly. The bespoke tailors see the demand from Commonwealth countries in making uniforms for Presidents and Heads of State as well as other types of uniform as an opportunity to embrace and as a major part of their business growth over the next five years.

Going forward, Samuel Brothers are keen to develop a relationship with Colchester Institute, which offers a degree programme dedicated to textiles. From there, the company will explore a mutually beneficial partnership of training students in the art of bespoke tailoring. There is also the potential for apprenticeships and student mentoring in the future, something which would further entwine Samuel Brothers into the fabric of the Essex garment industry.

See here for more info:

Business support

Invest ESSEX helps companies to relocate or expand in Essex. Our work is delivered by the Let’s Do Business Group and is jointly funded by Essex County Council (ECC) and the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

For more information on how we can support your business, see here: SME Support page