The history of Sanders&Sanders dates back to 1873.
William Benjamin Sanders was at this time apprenticing in boot and shoemaking in his hometown Rushden, Northamptonshire. He gathered more experience of the trade while working as a shoe clicker in London. When his apprenticeship completed in 1871 he returned to Rushden with the ambition of starting his own shoe making company, and had included his brother Thomas in his vision. They opened a workshop in the centre of town, employed a few craftsmen, and by 1873 the Sanders Bros. Shoe Company was founded.
Orders were increasing so the workshop expanded to larger premises and by 1912 William and Thomas had relocated to a factory on Spencer Road, on the outskirts of town.
They were at this time employing around 70 craftsmen, but were not yet making the uppers for their shoes and boots. This part of the shoemaking was outsourced to workers in the area to later be bought back and finished at the Sanders factory.
The industry saw great advancement when Charles Goodyear introduced ’’Goodyear Welting’’ to shoemakers. This new machinery allowed the process to move a lot faster while sustaining quality, and the Sanders brothers equipped their factory with Goodyears machinery.
When the first world war started a few years later they saw their highest demand ever.
The Sanders Factory was producing up to six thousand pairs of boots per week, and this demand continued even after the war ended.
In the midst of Sanders most lucrative and successful era, they were faced with a tragic incident at their factory facilities. In 1924 a fire cost the Sanders brothers their hard earned business and was said to be the biggest blow they’d ever experienced. The factory was beyond saving and the damage was estimated at £45,000. Despite their misfortune William and Thomas set out to rebuild their factory with modern, improved methods for shoemaking and re-opened what William referred to was his ’model factory’. Their business picked up once again and Sanders&Sanders became the first shoemakers to have the entire production process under one roof.
When it became time for William Sanders to retire he left the business to his three sons for them to run. The Sanders family have continued this tradition keeping their shoemaking a family-run business, and are currently in their 4th generation, still located on Spencer road. They continue to produce some of the finest shoes and boots in the world and are known to be the best in English craftsmanship, staying true to quality, elegance and their heritage.
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