selvedge denim factory staff

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:

  1. 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.
  2. We’ve collaborated with like-minded brands including Drake’s, Christopher Raeburn, King & Tuckfield and more. 
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Want to know more about us? We’ve just launched a Blackhorse Lane Ateliers YouTube Channel.

THE DENIM MAKER

HAN

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.

The Denim Maker

Kenan

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."

The Denim Maker

Ali

Ali is a Denim Maker at Blackhorse Lane Ateliers. He's been in clothes manufacturing for 30 years. Making clothes is his favourite job. He enjoys sewing and manufacturing more than any other job he's had. When compared to other jobs in manufacturing, he felt that Blackhorse Lane Ateliers was the nicest factory that he's worked in. For him, working at Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is about earning a proper living.

The Denim Maker

Mitko

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.

The Denim Maker

Ivo

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

THE TECHIE / DENIMHEAD

DAVID

David combines his passion for raw denim with over ten years product management experience to help Blackhorse Lane Ateliers maximise their online potential. Whether it be PR, marketing, online or in-atelier sales, David is finding new ways to introduce people to the Blackhorse Lane jeans, brand and atelier.

As a self-proclaimed denim head, he loves to collect jeans, shirts, jackets, and anything indigo-dyed. He's taken short courses on fashion entrepreneurship & menswear design at Central Saint Martins. He also runs a denim Meetup in London. Yes, he is wearing triple-denim in this photo.

As a product manager David built consumer-facing experiences for fashion, music and TV across various platforms. His career took him from Austin to San Francisco, Paris and London where he's worked for companies such as Lyst, Shazam and Microsoft.

THE CHEF

PEDRO

Michelin Trained Chef, Le Cordon Bleu Grand Diplome Graduate, Creator of Modernist Cuisine, Explorer of Mutli-Sensory Eating.

Pedro believes in challenging people’s perception of food and taste. He uses unusual flavours, colours, textures and temperatures to enliven the dining experience and send your senses soaring.

Pedro Passinhas uses modern techniques to create unusual combinations, presented in a range of quirky locations in London and beyond. An affordable luxury and an unforgettable experience.

Pedro’ runs the amazing - Denim and Dine – pop up restaurant, located within the Blackhorse Lane factory Atelier.

pedropassinhas.com

THE WOVEN TEXTILE DESIGNER
selvedge denim  staff

SOPHIE

SR-Wovens is a London based textile studio with a multi-disciplinary approach and providing bespoke textile design, trend, fabric and colour consultancy.

Sophie Reeves is a Woven Textile Designer with over 4 years experience working in the fashion industry. 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 SR-Wovens within Blackhorse Lane Ateliers, this weaving studio specialises in custom fabric development and hand woven textiles production. The offering includes both bespoke design services and its own collection in woven and print design.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER / VISUAL DIRECTOR
Agenda

AGENDA

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. I value time with my clients to determine their motivations and ambitions, these provide opportunities for understanding and synergy.

visualmarvelry.com

THE COLLABORATORS
selvedge denim factory setting

We've collaborated with many of the best brands in fashion and local businesses in East London -- whether that be sourcing material, consulting, producing, 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.

THE ALLOTMENT
selvedge denim cotton allotment

At Blackhorse Lane Ateliers we have our own allotment based only 10 minutes walk from our back door. This very special tranquil place is the oldest Allotment in London and close by 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; a successful harvest would allow opportunity to hand-dye a selection of garments, giving them an imitable, distinctive, artisan finish.

The Allotment will be nurtured under our – Grow & Dye – facility led by Katherine May and will be a place to visit as part of our educational workshops for both natural indigo and natural dyes. It will be further fascinating for visitors to discover seasonal vegetables growing alongside the indigo, to provide fresh produce grown in Walthamstow, by Pedro Passinhas’ for his amazing - Denim & Dine - pop up restaurant housed within the Factory Atelier.

THE POLICY & COMMITMENT
selvedge denim factory

We will work hard to ensure we put our customers and our employees welfare at the forefront of our
business activities.

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.