THE FAVOURITE SINCE 1851

A shop owner's daughter paints apples onto cotton cloths.
These 'prints' become a favourite with customers who love the bright, cheerful designs.
And the rest….is history.

1851
Fruit of the Loom is Founded
Robert and Benjamin Knight arrive in Warwick, Rhode Island and purchase a large cotton mill. They quickly begin producing high quality cotton cloth (muslin) and other textiles.
1856
Fruit of the Loom name established
The Knight brothers create the phrase "Fruit of the Loom" to describe their very finest cloths.
1856
Garments are decorated for the first time
Robert Knight supplied a shop owner, Rufus Skeel, with muslin fabric. Skeel's daughter painted pictures of a Swaar apples and pasted them onto the cloth. They proved more popular than the plain alternatives. They commissioned the young artist to paint additional pictures with fruit such as pears, peaches, plums and grapes and paste them to the cloth. The rest really is history.
1865
The first ever Apple logo
1871
Fruit of the Loom - 1st registered trademark
A year after Trademark Laws were passed in the US, the Knight brothers register "Fruit of the Loom. Fruit of the Loom received patent #220 on April 11, 1871 and used the “Hundreds” logo.
1871
Trademark 418
The Knight brothers register "Fruit of the Loom" including the Pear logo. The pear received the 418th patent on August 8, 1871 from the USPTO.
1877
The Fruits are arranged into a logo
For the first time, the logo starts to resemble the global brand identity we know today. Apples, grapes, currants and gooseberries are combined to the logo we know today. The Knights decide to use this image as one of four tickets to represent them at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
1898
Leadership changes
Benjamin Knight, the eldest Knight brother, dies leaving Robert Knight to lead the company.
1906
Jacob (Jack) Goldfarb
12 year old Jacob Goldfarb immigrates to NYC from Poland; his mother sends him to live with his married sister.
1911
Fruit guarantees the quality of their cotton
The cotton market was suffering from a flood of inferior textiles. The Knight decided to introduce his "Unconditional Guarantee" that underwrote the quality of the company’s cloth - covering material weight, thread count and finish. This decision set the same the high standards the company achieves today.
1913
The US Navy issues crisp white T-Shirts
From 1913, the US Navy handed out a white T to every new recruit. These were worn under the uniform except when participating in physical training. Troops would run, jump, climb and perform pushups in white-T's creating a striking visual impression.
1913
Game, Set and Match (Polo Shirts)
The world gets to see the predecessor of one of the most popular shirts of all time. Well starched and stiff with winged collars, the polo shirt was updated for tennis in 1926 at The Open Championships.
1920
Benjamin Russell creates the Sweatshirt
The first - ever sweatshirt is developed from cotton jersey. Designed for football players as a lighter, 'quick-dry' practical alternative to wool, the Sweats were also adopted by manual labourers like workers in cold storage facilities as one of the first pieces of comfortable workwear.
1926
Specialization of Jack Goldfarb
Jack Goldfarb buys the Drease family business in Indianapolis, IN. This business becomes known as the Union Underwear Company.
1928
Ready to Wear Clothing is introduced
As the fabric market diminishes, the clothing industry gradually moves from bespoke to 'ready to wear'. Pre-made T's and other garments start to appear in most stores across the States.
1933
Union Underwear expands
The company begins production of tie-side broadcloth shorts with a button-front. Jack is the first in the industry to initiate the idea of selling assorted patterns of underwear.
1938
Union Underwear and Fruit of the Loom
In October 1938, Goldfarb’s Union Underwear Company purchases a 25-year license to exclusive rights to the Fruit of the Loom trademark.
1940
Fruit of the Loom 3-pack is born
Goldfarb introduces a printed cellophane bag with 3-pairs of shorts inside. This introduction is quickly adopted and becomes an industry standard.
1942
Printed T makes the cover of LIFE Magazine
The Air Corps Gunnery logo is prominently featured on a snow-white T-Shirt. It makes the cover and captures the attention of men...and women everywhere.
1948
The first ever political T-Shirt
If you avoid politics...especially on a t-shirt, blame New York Governor, Thomas E. Dewey, he's credited with producing the very first Political or Statement T-Shirt. "Dew-it-with- Dewey" for 1948 Presidential Campaign. He lost, twice.
1951
A T-Shirt Caused Desire
Marlon Brando stars in a snug fitting T in the movie "A Streetcar Named Desire". Sales go through the roof as men copy Marlon's pioneering style to wear them as an outer garment.
1953-1955
Union Underwear on TV
Union Underwear becomes the first underwear company to advertise on television with a commercial for Fruit of the Loom with a spot on the Dave Garroway "Today Show."
1959
Plastisol Inks Invented
Plastisol inks offered a durable, stretchy solution for screen printers. More complex, colourful designs could be produced and garment decoration became more creative.
1960
Screen Printing becomes simpler
A multi-colour, rotary machine means that graphics can be produced in less time with less trouble. Screen printing takes off as a result.
1962
Warhol immortalizes Marilyn Monroe
Andy Warhol's famous brightly coloured, Marilyn Diptych becomes one of his most recognised images. Now in the Tate, the original popularised the trend of screen printing with eye catching colours.
1969
The Tie-Dyed T-Shirts
As well as some magical music, The Woodstock Festival launches the tie-dyed T, the perfect garment for love, peace and happiness.
1976
Rocky reclaims the Hoodie
The hoodie stars alongside Sylvester Stallone in the first ever Rocky movie. It's not branded, it's not colourful, it's just honest, enduring, practical and workman like. Exactly like the film's hero.
1976
I NY revitalizes city & souvenirs worldwide
Milton Glaser, a designer, sketches "I love New York" on a napkin and single handedly spawns a million imitations. It soon finds its way onto T-Shirts and global city souvenirs take-off.
1980
High Fashion adopts the Hoodie
Declaring it "locker room chic", fashion designer Norma Kamali creates a collection using Sweats and Hoodies - taking them from the street and onto the catwalk.
1981-1990
Fruit of the Loom lands in Europe
Fruit of the Loom established subsidiaries in Europe including England, Ireland, Germany and Spain to expand its brand into the European market.
1983
Fruit of the Loom Launches Ladies Underwear
From zero to hero within a couple of years, Fruit's underwear range captures the hearts, minds and everything else of women everywhere. 30 million units are sold in '85 and doubled to almost 60 million by '86.
1984
The Protest T is born
Liverpool band, Frankie goes to Hollywood, release Relax which is banned by the BBC. Press Agent and Promoter, Paul Morley, develops a "Frankie Says" campaign which appears on T's and proves hugely popular. The Supergroup, Band Aid, release a charity Christmas single in the same year with the title "Do they know it's Christmas?" emblazoned across white T's.
1987
The Fruit logo is refreshed
1987
Fruit of the Loom gets seriously into Sports
For the first time, Fruit of the Loom launches an Activewear range available through retail outlets incorporating branded T's, Sweats and Fleeces.
1990
The Seattle Grunge Scene
Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden hit the airwaves with their own brand of rock and 'anti-brand' style of clothing. Open flannel shirts reveal ironic, childish T's or purposely low key workwear T's.
1991
The Hard Rock Cafe T
Who hasn't seen or worn a Hard Rock Cafe T? Almost as popular as postcards, every tourist wanted a Hard Rock T - from a place far far from home. The further the better. Sometimes the T travelled back to the tourist (as a gift) rather than the tourist traveling to the T.
1992
The Polo Shirt is in Business
The Tec entrepreneurs of the early 90's adopt the Polo Shirt as smart casual workwear. The trend soon caught on and other companies emblazoned them with their identity, logos and colour schemes.
1993
"Hoodie" becomes part of the vocabulary
You'll find it defined in the Oxford English Dictionary today but it was '93 when Hip Hop cultivated urban fashion culture and "Hoodie" entered the English language and many more afterwards.
2005
Fruit launch The Deep V - The No Show T
Inspired by men who resisted the appearance of a T-Shirt beneath a dress shirt or a Polo, Fruit of the Loom launched the deep v-neck as the T that would not show. Ironically, men who wanted to reveal more also favoured the Deep V, just not under anything.
2011
The Most T's Worn at Once
Can you wear two, three or maybe 257 T's at once? Sanath Bandara could and earned a new Guinness World Record doing it.
2013
The T-Shirt Turns 100
100 years of T's! The humble T-shirt has been around for a whole century, finding its way into the wardrobes, closets, cupboards and drawers of men and women around the world.
2014
The Billboard T
Express yourself and emblazon it on a T. Celebrities, charities, retailers, sports fans, bachelor(ette) parties and companies have all made smart 'personal' statements using the humble T. The smarter the statement the better.
2018
The Favourite Heritage Campaign Launch
Fruit of the Loom Europe unveil "The favourite since 1851" campaign. Find your favourite!

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