A Welsh Manufacturing Revival Story – Hiut Denim Co.

Cardigan, West Wales is the home of Hiut Denim Co. The small welsh town has a population of roughly 4000 people and until 2002 almost 400 of those were working in manufacturing. Marks & Spencer had their last remaining UK factory in Cardigan, for almost 40 years the factory produced 35,000 pairs of Jeans a week for the British retailer. Then, in 2002, M&S closed the factory and moved its denim production to Morocco, citing cheaper labour costs.

16 years later the town now has a new employer. For the past five years it has become home to a high-end jeans-maker – the Hiut Denim Company. Founded in 2011 by proud Welshman Mr Hieatt who decided there was no better place to set up shop; nowhere else in the UK could you find such a rich history of jeans-making.

huid denim co jeans advert

The Factory

Employing machinists who had previously worked in the old factory and still held their decades of jeans-making skills, Mr Hieatts’ ambition is for the factory to one day employ the same number of denim masters as M&S.

When the music is loud and the coffee is strong, the Grand Masters can make around 100 pairs of Hiut’s a week… Hiut are there to try and make the best jeans they can and not the most jeans they can.

Take a look at the Factory below where all jeans are handmade by the close-knit group of workers. It takes just over one hour to make each pair individually.

The Year Book

To celebrate the work and sense of community that is at the heart of the brand, Huit produce an annual yearbook reflecting on the previous year with an intimate look into life in the factory and Cardigan as a whole.  Shot by Photographer Andrew Paytner the yearbooks are available to purchase and holds 144 pages. These pages are full of inspiring words, quotes, insights from a collection of the smartest minds on the planet.

Take a look at the Pinterest album here and some of our highlights below.

Huit Denim Co Jeans

The most important element of all – the product. Huit Denim’s philosophy is simple, do one thing well. They make jeans and only jeans. in their words:

‘We make jeans. That’s it. Nothing else. No distractions. Nothing to steal our focus. No kidding ourselves that we can be good at everything. No trying to conquer the whole world. We just do our best to conquer our bit of it. So each day we come in and make the best jeans we know how. Use the best quality denims. Cut them with an expert eye.’

The Jeans have been worn by a range of mens style icons from Arctic Monkeys & Radiohead to Ewon Mcgregor. Here’s a few details shots of the finished product.

Hiut Denim Jeans are currently only available online, you can find their full range of organic & selvedge denim here. 

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