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.
The Denim Maker
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 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
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 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.
Denim lab process and laundry manager
Leanne is an experienced designer with a conscientious mindset, and an organic approach to the design and development process. Having studied fashion design and marketing foundation degree and BA Honours on Product Development and Design for the fashion industry at the London College of Fashion.
Her expertise lies within denim and woven textiles, across multi-product for both men's and womenswear collections whilst offering sustainable solutions in doing so. She will be heading up our new R&D Washlab facility which will bring a whole new denim aesthetic to the UK, and encourage both fellow designers and students to have access with experimenting with denim processing in the UK.
We have our own allotment based only 15 minutes walk from our front door. This very special tranquil place and is the oldest Allotment in London. It is close to the River Lea and Tottenham Marshes. Here we have started planting Japanese indigo and running workshops within the local community, both as a connection to nature and a way to educate.
The allotment is run by Leeza and Luisa who have vast knowledge of indigo, and are passionate about various creative dyeing techniques and will be running a Seed to Dye Course this year.
Wilbur is our dedicated Store Manager at Coal Drops Yard. With years of experience in retail and clothing, Wilbur has honed a deep passion for menswear, specialising in denim and expertly curating fits and silhouettes, as well mastering denim repair techniques and hemming.
He is a true aficionado of vintage fashion, and his interest in classic tailoring is ever growing.
In his free time, Wilbur trains in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and kettlebell training, showing his commitment to discipline and self-improvement. His exceptional eye for style, combined with his dedication to his craft, makes him a vital member of the BLA family.
Head of Made to Measure
Lilly is head of our Made To Measure
service and can make your denim dreams come true. She is a creative pattern cutter and loves working with her hands, utilising different fabrics
and sees a fitting as a 3D puzzle.
Having studied Womenswear at the Royal College of Art, Lilly also pursued her interest for menswear, which she included in her final collection.
After graduating, realising that she enjoyed the more technical side of fashion, she decided to pursue a career in pattern cutting, working with both menswear and womenswear. And has been working with Blackhorse Lane Ateliers since 2016.
SlowBurn is a pop up restaurant with sustainability in mind, founded by Chavdar Todorov it reflects his approach towards food and life.
Expect thoughtful and nutritious recipes with more vegetables and less meat. SlowBurn plans to be involved in the community, being supportive to other local businesses with similar values, using their services and produce where possible.
Head of Digital
Illya is a unique individual who seamlessly blends technology and creativity in his personal and professional life. With 18 years of experience in the IT industry, he brings a wealth of technical expertise to the table. However, his creativity shines through with his past pursuits in theatre and music production.
His passion for denim has taken him on a journey of exploration, as he delves into the rich world of style and workwear clothing from around the globe, particularly in and around the vibrant London scene where he has been documenting it via his love of photography and film. Illya's diverse interests and skills make him a valuable asset, bridging the gap between technology and art to create something truly special.
Press & Collaborations
We are proud to have collaborated with many of the best brands in fashion as well as local East London businesses. Our jeans, atelier and staff have also featured in wide range publications.
We are Proud Members of the Following Organisations
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.
1. Quality standards assured
2. Locality to Blackhorse Lane
3. Provision of good service & fair pricing
4. Relationships of respect & trust
5. Like minded values
6. Consideration for our planet’s finite resources
7. 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.