If an 18-year-old boy invested £125 in a pair of new Blackhorse Lane jeans today and went on to wear them three times a week until he was 80 years old, he’d have worn them 9,672 times, making the price-per-wear a minuscule fraction of the original price tag. So what? That’s never going to happen, you might say if you’d never met Toby or Han, or heard about their free for life repairs guarantee. The duo behind the small denim revolution that is Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is utterly convinced that the vogue surrounding conscious consumption and ethical, community-based production is more than just a fashion fad.
Toby was previously head of menswear at Margaret Howell and Han used to run a line of clothes factories – until business meant larger orders with less time and respect for the producers and products – making their approach one born out of genuine experience and emotional investment rather than ‘craft beer’ hype. If you’re in Walthamstow, make sure to drop into their atelier-cum-factory-cum artists’ commune; along with their own allotment for growing indigo, you’ll find artisans such as Katherine May in the adjoining studios and weekend workshops to make your own five pocket jean.
This month, Blackhorse Lane launches their first women’s jean fit, the “N5," which is the postcode for Highbury Fields in London. The creators have put a great deal of effort into getting the fit just right and consulting their female customers. The result is a high-rise, slim-straight, high-quality jean, which flatters all body shapes. As with all Blackhorse Lane jeans, the N5 also comes with free repairs for life.
As featured in the Southern Issue.
Blog post by Jessica Edney