Our history

Unilever is a business founded on a sense of purpose, and our unique heritage still shapes the way we do business today.

Part of a Blue Band advert in India

Making sustainable living commonplace

Unilever Archives

Unilevers historic Port Sunlight

The Unilever archives are amongst the most important collections of business records in the world.

In the 1890s, William Hesketh Lever, founder of Lever Brothers, wrote down his ideas for Sunlight Soap – his revolutionary new product that helped popularize cleanliness and hygiene in Victorian England.

It was “to make cleanliness commonplace; to lessen work for women; to foster health and contribute to personal attractiveness, that life may be more enjoyable and rewarding for the people who use our products”.

That sense of purpose and mission has always been part of Unilever’s culture. In the 21st century, we’re still helping people to look good, feel good and get more out of life – and our purpose as a business is ‘making sustainable living commonplace’.

Follow our timeline to find out more about our history.

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