In 1960, Ben Hung started a small sail loft in suburban Hong Kong under the name Ben Hung Sails. Due to the geographic advantage of Hong Kong as an international hub of sea transportation, many ships would pass through the area. In the beginning, the loft's first business came from making canvas for ships and steamers. As time went by, Ben Hung became active in the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and Hebe Haven Yacht Club in the area, and began to supply sails to club members.
In 1965, Ben Hung Sails exported their first set of sails to the US, and started advertising in major sailing magazines in the USA and Europe, marking the beginning of a global business. Sailors in North America and Europe began to choose the sails for their high quality and affordability.
In 1973, the Dutch sailmaking giant, De Vries, came to Hong Kong and formed a joint venture with Ben Hung Sails. The new company was called Ben Hung & De Vries. The loft in Hong Kong grew to employ more than 40 sailmakers.
In 1980, after Ben Hung's Dutch partner retired, Sails East was formed.
In 1985, Sails East formed a partnership with Miami Sails in the US and began to design and produce windsurfing sails and accessories. Windsurfing sails become Sails East's second core business in addition to traditional keelboat sails and dinghy sails.
Three years later, with the Hong Kong loft at full capacity, Sails East built a brand new loft in China and tripled its capacity. The new loft introduced CAD and CAM capabilities, and applied laser-cutting technology to its production process.
Today, Sails East is one of the largest sail lofts in the world and employs more than 100 full-time sailmakers, with sales offices and distribution channels around the globe.