November 30, 2016
A region that once boasted a weekly production of 35,000 units a week, the Welsh town of Cardigan was host to the UK’s largest jeans making factory. ‘Dewhirst’ employed over 400 employees, who at the time were producing this immense volume of jeans for the entire country. In 2001, Dewhirst’s factory doors closed, opting for the cheaper labour offered by Moroccan based manufacturers. This cease in production for Cardigan resulted in the abandonment of many skilled workers. It rendered as much as 10% of the town jobless; generations of experience cast aside with no other means for their skilled trade. It was this drastic repercussion that later inspired founders David and Clare Hieatt to revitalise Cardigans prior jean making industry.
Quite simply, Hiut Denim is a jeans brand that is giving the ex workers of Cardigan their jobs back. Summary to the Hiut name, it was during a start-up interview with a jean making grandmaster that the ex-Industrial worker mentioned to David;
“This is what I know how to do. This is what I do best.”
From their small factory Hiut manufacture jeans for both men and woman from four denim types. Central to their fabric selection is ‘Selvedge’ denim. Unlike that of ‘wide denim’, Selvedge is woven on a shuttle loom with a ‘self-edged’ weave. Whilst being more costly to produce, this method yields superior durability thus lending itself towards premium quality trouser-ware. Hiut source their Selvedge denim for the artisanal Kuroki mill in Japan which is then cut and stitched by Cardigan’s jean making grandmasters.
Aimed at the top end of the market, Hiut denim are unwavering in their endeavour for quality. Every facet of their online store immerses you in their Welsh world of jean making. The company's refreshingly singular focus for one product instils a confidence that their jeans evidently reflect. Through direct personal experience, investing in such well made trouser-ware is an investment we highly recommend. To view their selection of incredible jeans in more detail, head over to the Hiut Denim website using the link below.
Hiut Denim Website
NATIVE is a blog series intended to showcase select brands who implement product manufacture here in the UK. Admittedly, not all aspects of every product can be made here, however we are most interested in those that can.
UK production has changed dramatically over the decades. Like every industry, embracing change is vital, not just to survive but to thrive in conjunction with social, economic and technological advancement.
Recognition of businesses, old and new, that implement outright or even partial local production is something we are genuinely passionate about. As designers, it is our belief that people should know more about how, why and where great products are made in the UK.
NATIVE is our way of sharing this information.
"Every contrivance of man, every tool, every instrument, every utensil, every article designed for use, of each and every kind, evolved from very simple beginnings."
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