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.
Christina Figur is a Norwegian fashion designer based in London. Trained in Tailoring and Fashion Design in Norway, Italy and England before working as a designer for the likes of Top Shop and Paul Smith. For the last 8 years she has followed her passion for sharing authentic Nordic hand crafting and design through teaching and mentoring with The Nordic Make Lounge. Christina’s Norwegian background brings a wonderful authentic aesthetic to her work and her enthusiasm for making and sharing is infectious, bringing real pleasure and fulfilment to her students.
“I have always made things and had a need to create. Nothing beats the invigorating feeling and sense of happiness that comes from creating something useful; except when it is also both beautiful and wearable.”
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.
SlowBurn is a pop up restaurant/food takeaway with sustainability in mind, founded by Chavdar Todorov and it reflects his approach towards food and life. For the moment it will operate as a collection-only takeaway plus the occasional event within our space inside the factory. 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.
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.
Woven Textiles Designer
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.
Woven Textiles Designer
Hannah is a freelance woven textile designer and consultant who joined the Atelier in 2017. Since completing a Masters at the RCA.
Hannah has worked across the textile sector and on bespoke projects with both fashion and interior brands. Her skills include industrial production, research, historical textiles, woven sample development and textile education. Following her passion for traditional crafts, Hannah has spent extended periods living and working in Japan.
Hannah applies her diverse experience to her studio practice in the form of composition and construction, resulting in contemporary designs routed in historical techniques and processes.
Portrait taken by Mark Griffiths
The creative imagination of Agenda Brown now resides at Blackhorse Lane Ateliers Walthamstow production base.
Agenda Brown, as the creative protagonist of Visual Marvelry™ and generator of visual stories, possesses a rare ability to capture his subjects in a discerning manner, whilst evoking empathy for his subjects.
He has successfully developed a substantial imprint as an original photographic commentator and as an authentic observer of active and dynamic cosmopolitan artists, creatives, and social entrepreneurs.
Capturing individuals with a cinematic scale, whilst providing creative expression and authenticity to context and environment, shines a light on the authenticity of the individual characters, and the detail of their personality against a worldly context.
Please drop him a line if you would like to come by and talk over your creative project.
We have our own allotment based only 15 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 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.