WHO ARE WE?
We make and sell ready-to-wear selvedge & organic raw denim jeans from our atelier in London, England with a focus on sustainability, community and unmatched quality. Blackhorse Lane Ateliers opened its doors in April 2016, leveraging our founder Bilgehan “Han” Ates’ 25 years of experience in the textile industry.
We have three main areas of focus:
- We manufacture our own ready-to-wear line of selvedge & organic raw denim jeans. We offer multiple fits from modern slim to vintage straight, in multiple raw denims.
- We’ve collaborated with like-minded brands including Drake’s, Christopher Raeburn, King & Tuckfield and more.
- We offer sampling & production services for clothing made with denim and similar heavy fabrics.
Based within a tastefully renovated 1920s factory building in Walthamstow, the brand combines the production of jeans with the establishment of a modern methodology for a community of makers – Think Global, Act Local.
Our company stands for three key things:
- Quality: We use a mix of tailoring innovation and heritage construction to create garments of unmatched quality. We truly believe that our jeans are the best in the world — and also the only jeans made in London for at least 50 years.
- Community: We believe in growing the maker community in Walthamstow, London. We employ local machinists and offer shared ownership to each employee. Our atelier houses craftspersons working in artwork restoration, fashion design, weaving, and even a pop-up restaurant.
- Eco-consciousness: We try to minimise the environmental impact of making denim garments by using organic cotton, denim woven in Europe, and offer a lifetime repair policy that discourages fast fashion.
Team Photo by https://www.carmelking.com/
Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is proud to have our jeans, atelier and staff featured in the following articles. We recommend visiting these links to learn more about us.
Features on BLA:
- AnOther Magazine
- Audrey Stanton
- Bad Denim
- Crown Of Flowers
- The Culture Trip
- Design For Longevity
- Die, Workwear!
- Fashion Revolution
- Frances Corner
- Grey Fox
- Heddels (BLA X Lavenham)
- Houyhnhnm (In Japanese)
- The Jackal Magazine
- Journal Standard (In Japanese)
- Labour & Wait
- Long John (Meet The Person: Han Ates)
- Long John (BLA X Lavenham)
- Pebble Magazine
- Permanent Style
- Ponytail Journal
- The Rake
- Retoys (In Japanese)
- Tank Magazine
- Visual Marvelry
- Warpweb (In Japanese)
Articles including BLA:
- Alice Made This (Our favourite Made in Britain brands)
- Courier Magazine
- The Culture Trip (Denim Brands)
- Design For Longevity (Indigo Wisdom)
- Drapers Online (The Great British Denim Revival)
- Drapers Online (Best of British)
- Fashion Beans (Raw Denim Guide)
- Heddels (A Sharp Brexit ...)
- Highsnobiety (AEG Care Label Project)
- Huffington Post (Denim Brands)
- The Jackal (These Three Workshops Make The Best British Denim)
- The New York Times
- The Rake (Style 101 - French Worker's Jackets)
- Ropedye (Amsterdam Denim Style)
- Timeout (Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow)
Han is a founder and visionary of Blackhorse Lane Ateliers. As a second generation Londoner with Turkish Kurdish ancestry, Han and his family have a long history of manufacturing in the clothing and textile industry.
Having been immersed in the local community of textile manufacturing in East London, Han set up his own factory on Blackhorse Lane, manufacturing tailored garments. This venture was located in the same building of the new concept Ateliers. This business lasted for more than twenty years, leading to significant commercial success.
Having completed his ambitions in the Textile industry, Han pursued his passion and interest in food, leading to a career as a restaurateur, with the opening of a prestigious new venture Homa in Stoke Newington. This became a secret favourite hub of the local residents. The experience fuelled Han’s interest in both community values and sustainable, high quality produce.
In 2016 Han returned to his textile roots, completing the holistic circle as Founder of Blackhorse Lane Ateliers.
Kenan is a Denim Maker at Blackhorse Lane Ateliers. He's been in clothes manufacturing for over 40 years. He's always worked in manufacturing, and it's the thing he feels he knows best. When compared to other jobs in manufacturing, he felt that Blackhorse Lane Ateliers was better than anywhere he's worked before. For him, working at B.L.A. is about earning "bread money."
Mitko is a Denim Maker at Blackhorse Lane Ateliers. He's been in clothes manufacturing for 27 years. He likes his job as sewing and manufacturing are things he likes doing day-to-day. When compared to other jobs in manufacturing, he feels that Blackhorse Lane Ateliers pays better and the working space and conditions are nice. For him, working at Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is about earning a living and affording a better standard of life.
Ivo is a Denim Maker at Blackhorse Lane Ateliers. He's been in clothes manufacturing for 22 years. He previously worked in manufacturing in Bulgaria. When compared to other jobs in manufacturing, he felt that Blackhorse Lane Ateliers's conditions are much better than other factories, and he is treated equally. For him, working at Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is about coming to work everyday, and working hard to earn a good living.
GATHER E17: Martin & Charlotte Major
Gather E17 is a pop up restaurant, founded by husband and wife team, Martin and Charlotte. They host fine dining evenings on Friday and Saturday within our factory environment, plus a more relaxed brunch atmosphere on Sunday.
Their vision is to bring seasonal, ethically sourced and beautifully cooked food to our home in Walthamstow. Their style of food is Modern British: French cooking techniques with British produce, championing local artisanal makers and growers.
As part of our open-door policy, you can stop by for Martin's fresh sourdough bread Thursday-Sunday, and locally baked cakes from Bergese Bakes.
FOLEY SCHALKX CONSERVATION
Roo Foley and Maartje Schalkx specialise in the conservation of modern and contemporary works of art on paper. After years of working for larger companies and institutions, they set up business together in 2017. They have extensive experience assessing and treating artworks for private collectors, galleries, art brokers and public institutions.
Sophie Reeves is a Woven Textile Designer. After graduating in 2012 Sophie was selected to take part in Texprint, providing opportunity to exhibit and sell her work at Premier Vision in Paris. After spending the next year working in Italy and Canada, Sophie retuned to the UK to work for British heritage brand Ben Sherman where she headed up the Textile Department. In 2016 Sophie set up her weaving studio within Blackhorse Lane Ateliers, but in 2019 founded Epoch, a woven rug and interiors brand that produces handwoven seasonal collections.
"Over time I have honed my creativity and my artistic style has revealed itself. My camera is my voice, and what I create speaks for and to me; I could not imagine my life without it. I’m driven by my desire to encapsulate authenticity in a chosen moment, whilst dissolving anything that gets in the way of connecting with a great image. My role is to absolutely eliminate distraction, which is why my equipment is minimal and my use of natural light is paramount to my approach. I’m passionate about the limitless possibilities that come from cross fertilisation and collaborating with people who understand that, by working together we can create something amazing."
We've collaborated with many of the best brands in fashion as well as local East London businesses -- whether that be sourcing material, consultancy, production, or even bringing co-branded garments to market. The greatest achievement for us is having the Blackhorse Lane Ateliers logo alongside our collaborator's logo. We view this as a certification that the garment is made in London, and is of unmatched quality.
At Blackhorse Lane Ateliers we have our own allotment based only 10 minutes walk from our front door. This very special tranquil place is the oldest Allotment in London and is close to the River Lea and Tottenham Marshes. Here we have started digging beds ready for our plans to grow a plantation of Japanese indigo within the local neighbourhood, as well as various plant fibres to use as an educational resource.
The allotment is run as a team, and we hope it is something we can also share with our local community as a hotspot for nurturing understanding of textiles.
We will work hard to ensure we put our customers and our employees welfare at the forefront of our
We care about the planet and wish to help protect our natural resources to benefit the local economy in E17, Walthamstow.
To prove our commitment we will select our employees and our
suppliers according to 7 key criteria.
* QUALITY STANDARDS ASSURED
* LOCALITY TO BLACKHORSE LANE
* PROVISION OF GOOD SERVICE & FAIR PRICING
* RELATIONSHIPS OF RESPECT & TRUST
* LIKE MINDED VALUES
* CONSIDERATION FOR OUR PLANET’S FINITE RESOURCES
* SUSTAINABLE PROCESSES, REPAIR AND RE-USE WHEREVER POSSIBLE
All our employees will be given opportunity to be shareholders in the company Blackhorse Lane Atelier Ltd. through the Blackhorse Lane Employee’s Scheme.
All our employees will be paid a fair living wage and will not be subjected to Zero Contract hours.
We will continually monitor opportunities to work with new suppliers to achieve the most local and quality focused products and service wherever possible. This policy will be delivered for the advantage of our customers who we value highly as investors in our products. In circumstances such as growing cotton and the spinning and weaving of denim - where there is no local industry in London or the UK - we will work together with like minded 3rd parties to help change this. During this development process we will import offshore materials as locally as possible, and which will still be judged and selected according to our key criteria.
We will be an entirely open and transparent operation and will communicate to our customers all of our suppliers and their geographic location.
We will not work with suppliers unless we have visited their production facility and observed their business practice.
We will seek organic textile materials wherever possible.
We will follow the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen, seeking continuous, achievable and realistic improvements each day.
We will establish our charitable foundation #THINK GLOBAL ACT LOCAL and appoint 7 trustees who will include independent members not connected to our business activities. The charity will freely benefit from 20% of the total square meterage of the Blackhorse Lane Ateliers Factory. The charity will use the funds generated from this building rental to financially support other local craftsmen in the E17 community and to help them establish their own businesses. These local craftsman will further benefit from the knowledge and skillset of the trustees.
We will aim to have some fun and enjoy our working environment and treat one another with respect, humility and goodwill in an open, transparent and multi-cultural community.