A wardrobe staple and an all-time classic. Chances are the majority of you reading this article own, or are maybe even wearing your favourite pair of, jeans right now. Well, if that’s the case then you’ll be delighted to know that you’re sporting a classic design innovation of nearly 150 years old!
Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis patented the first men’s riveted work pants in the US in 1873. Made from denim and designed for durability, this was the birth of the denim jean as we know it today. It is worth a mention that it wasn’t until 1960’s the term “jeans” was introduced - much more trendy than “waist overalls” we’d say.
In the late 19th Century, denim jean, a mix of cotton, linen and wool became the material of choice for miners, farmers, and cowboys in the US. It only started becoming more popular in the UK in the mid-1940s. People started seeing the advantage of these stylish denim jeans for both hard-wearing and leisure activities.
Jeans sold in the 1950s were only stocked in one length, so the buyers would roll up the cuffs of the jeans, revealing the inside of the fabric known as the selvedge. A lighter coloured denim than its counterpart, we drew on this familiar piece of clothing and its utilitarian heritage as inspiration for our Selvedge shade.
In more recent years, the young British brand Hiut Denim Co. has been focusing on one thing and one thing only: “We make jeans. That’s all folks.”
Reopening a disused jeans factory that was once a hub of activity, Hiut have brought back traditional manufacturing and craft skills to the small English town of Cardigan. A no-funny-business business, these guys have continued the legacy of the jean innovation while focusing on the quality and craftmanship of their products. They are also advocates of the “No Wash Club”, encouraging people to go as long as they can without washing their jeans. “What?!” you’re thinking. I know, but it’s not as crazy as it sounds. They are encouraging people to see the authenticity and individuality in their jeans which comes through general wear. “Made by us, but shaped by you”.