Over year ago, I came across a raw denim company based in Wales called Hiut Denim. At the time I was looking for outstanding examples of responsive websites and they were called out a couple of times. What struck me, beyond their site, was their positioning, purpose and products. I also learned that the founder, David Hieatt founded one of my all time favorite brands - Howies (which I knew about from my time working in London and has since sold to Timberland). David comes from an advertising background, is an author and does heaps more than jeans.
Shortly thereafter learning about them, at the Hyper Island master class in Vancouver, one of the inspirational content presenters mentioned Hiut Denim… turns out he was a fan and was even wearing a pair of their raw denim jeans.
I soon after, took the plunge and bought a pair online.
There are so many wonderful elements to the Hiut Denim brand, product and experience – let me share some.
“To bring back jean related jobs and industry to our town, Cardigan.” Cardigan, Wales, used to be a hot bed for designing and making jeans - 35,000 of them a week. Unfortunately, all of this stopped in 2001when jean production went offshore – wasting 4 decades of local jean knowledge and experience.
Positioning & Product
“Do one thing and do it well“
Anchored in this focus is quality and they have numerous proof points. Their material & design story – and the very authentic way that these are told through copy and images. The jeans aren’t designer jeans but designed jeans. For instance the little pocket on the front right pocket was originally (hundred years ago) created to hold time piece in. What’s the time piece today? A phone. So Hiut Denim’s little pocket fits an iphone 5 (not sure about the 6+)
The jean maker (artist) signs each part of jeans they make (on the inside) – signifying that they stand behind and are proud of their work. Hiut Denim celebrates companies and personalities who are focused in other quality products from shoes to screwdrivers in their Scrapbook Chronicles (newsletter).
Each pair of jeans has a unique number that you can register and associate with your twitter account. You then tag events that you and your jeans do. The bigger idea being that your jeans have a journey…a story. Because they are made with so much quality, whomever is going to be given or inherit them can see the history of the jeans – be it concerts, travels, sports events, life events etc. Not only is this a very innovative idea as it enables customers to story tell about their jeans and Hiut Denim, it supports Hiut Denims jean quality positioning.
So to the freezer.
The freezer is part of the no wash club. You don’t wash your raw denim jeans for first 6 months so that they turn more beautiful and unique to you – think folds, creases etc. This I have learned is pretty common for custom/boutique jean makers. (Great article in Guardian here). Putting my jeans in the freezer from time to time kills any bacteria. There is another reason, Hiut denim calculated the environmental impact - wearing and washing a pair of Hiut’s would reduce water use by: 952 LITRES and Carbon Impact by: 6.1 KG CO2E (over the life of one pair). That being said I'm far away from any of the 6 signs I need to wash my raw denim jeans.
Hiut Denim isn't perfect. I had sent some emails to customer service and they didn’t respond – I had asked about taxes/shipping to Canada. (I ended up ordering and there wasn't any duty/tax implications.)
Recently, I ordered another pair – a beta technical jean and there were some issues with their machines which meant the jeans were quite significantly delayed. I got a pretty darn good email explaining the situation and the solution – not to mention the option to get my money back if I so desired. Have a look.
There is so much more – I’d encourage you to connect with Hiut Denim and explore more for yourself and love to hear what you think.