Meet Henry Hales, the man turning offcuts into high fashion

‘We want to appeal to men who appreciate quality and good design - and who are perhaps a bit eccentric...’

Over at Gentleman’s Journal, we’ve been serious fans of Sir Plus for years. Working to reimagine British workwear classics by using upcycled offcuts and surplus materials (get it?), the London-based house not only offers some of the sleekest heritage-style garments in the UK today, but it does so in an eco-friendly, sustainable way. Put simply, Sir Plus, are to the fashion world what the NutriBullet is to ugly fruit. 

Having begun with boxer shorts, Sir Plus now offers everything from coats, gilets and evening wear, to dressing gowns and pocket squares. “Our bestsellers are the more unusual pieces, so we focus on retaining our value and identity rather than forecasting and following trends. This way we aren’t dictated by trying to pre-empt the hottest new print or style,” says founder Henry Hales. And it’s working – several royals and celebrities are among the client list, and a stolid Andy Murray was snapped for the front cover of The Telegraph Magazine sporting a Sir Plus Nehru Jacket, specifically requested by his team. 

Hales himself was always set on being an entrepreneur – he cites James Dyson as an inspiration – and began working on Sir Plus by door-hopping between various shirt-makers, offering small sums in return for their surplus material (or cabbage, as it is known in the industry). This hands-on approach afforded him precious time with experienced tailors and he was able to get hold of high-quality material at a fraction of the original cost. 

Now, all these years on, people come knocking on Henry’s door. “A factory will get in touch regarding leftover material and, if good enough, we’ll take it from them. We buy predominantly from Italy and the UK, but we’ve bought from India, Turkey and Portugal. We only buy the best.”

‘We want to appeal to men who appreciate quality and good design, and who are perhaps a bit eccentric,’ explains Henry. On this premise Sir Plus is aimed at younger, fashion-conscious but not fashion-consumed men, for which there is a huge market.

Whether customers have followed the brand from its inception, been hooked by the nod to sustainability, or come to the website through word of mouth, they soon become part of the journey and story. This loyalty was evident when Henry ran a Kickstarter in 2016 with the motive to build a ‘shop on wheels’. The initiative raised £20,000 – his smart roving stall can be found on Portobello Road on Saturdays. As can Henry.

Sir Plus is an offbeat “eco-brand” producing a range of wonderfully-refined clothing. The same can be said about Henry: offbeat, but hugely ambitious. Is he ever concerned that too much success will make it hard for surplus material to sate demand?

“What a great problem that would be,” laughs Henry. “Not for the foreseeable future though. Whatever happens, there will always be an element of surplus material in our clothing. It’s who we are. We’ll never lose sight of that.”

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Meet Henry Hales, the man turning offcuts into high fashion

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Meet Henry Hales, the man turning offcuts into high fashion

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