Why a fashion brand and a historic Leeds mill are proving a perfect fit

An up-and-coming British fashion brand and a historic Leeds mill are proving a perfect fit.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 11:30 am
Mac Rai with his range of clothing.

Aristocrat London, which specializes in polo shirts, T-shirts, hoodies and Baseball caps, has moved into Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley.

The business was founded by entrepreneur Mac Rai last year and was based in Leeds city centre, before moving to a state of the art studio in the 1912 Mill complex this summer.

Mac Rai, who is also Aristocrat London’s founder, said: “We are a British retail fashion brand, led by an innovative and ethical ethos. Our clothing range is made from organic

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John Gaunt and Mac Rai.

cottons and is vegan, without using any animal testing.

“We are honored to be based in a former worsted weaving mill in the heart of Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley. Our wonderful new premises encompass our showroom, design studios,

photography studios, print studios and office. We keep everything in-house, so we can control the quality of our clothing range and create a well-respected label, and sell on-line

across the world.

“Our aim is offer beautifully designed and comfortable garments at a competitive price. My own experience in the clothing industry stretches back two decades, working extensively with

niche brands which were sold in prestigious fashion houses such as Harvey Nichols, Flannels, and Selfridges.

He added: “I chose Sunny Banks Mills primarily because of its rich textiles heritage, which fits in perfectly with our brand. And it has been a tremendous bonus to find that William and John

Gaunt, who own and manage the mill, are incredibly helpful with everything we do."

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William Gaunt, co-managing director of Edwin Woodhouse, the owners of Sunny Bank Mills, said he was delighted to welcome Mac Rai and Aristocrat London: "To us, this is a wonderfully symbolic move and a potent reminder of our history. We have a tremendous textile heritage, stretching back to the early nineteenth century.

"It was obviously a wrench to stop manufacturing textiles here, but we believe the success of our regenerated mill has put the beating heart back into the magnificent village of Farsley.”

John Gaunt, co-managing director, added: “Aristocrat London is a worthy and exciting addition to the Sunny Bank Mills community. We now have beauticians, hair salons, cafes,

restaurants, a yoga studio and a massage studio, all providing a variety of services for the many companies who are now based here. Now we have an independent fashion retailer,

which an exciting - and ethical - clothing range.”

“It is this attractive offer, which we work so hard to achieve, that makes Sunny Bank Mills not just a wonderful place to work but also a great place to visit and spend time at as well.

“At the same time, we have recently invested £2million in the Weaver’s Yard project at Sunny Bank, which has opened up the centre of the mill, creating a magnificent performance area and 95 new car parking spaces.”

Sunny Bank Mills now boasts 75 companies with more than 350 employees on site.

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