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Hiut Denim
Wales is making jeans again
by Leonora Oppenheim
on 06 March 2012
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Along with a beloved old T-shirt or a perfectly worn leather jacket, jeans often have more of a backstory than a regular article of clothing. The recently launched Hiut Denim encourages the wearer to officially document their relationship with their pants from the moment they first put them on. Built into each pair is a HistoryTag—a unique code enabling an online memory bank for jeans. By setting up a special account, people can upload pictures and stories about their adventures in denim. The archived information about each pair is maintained even as they're passed from one owner to the next.

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Interested in the stories behind the clothing we wear, David and Clare Hieatt founded Hiut—the name is a combination of "Hieatt" and "Utility"—to bring denim production back to their hometown of Cardigan, Wales which previously housed the U.K.'s largest denim factory producing 35,000 pairs a week. When businesses began moving operations east, the plant was closed, leaving a talented workforce behind.

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With the new Hiut factory, the Hieatts hope to regenerate the local craft industry and in doing so, employ about 400 people in Cardigan again. Operating under the motto, "do one thing well," Hiut has Grand Master denim cutters and machinists focusing their efforts on making just two styles of jeans—regular and slim—in a choice of two denim fabrics, organic from Turkey and selvage from Kuroki, the artisanal Japanese denim mill.

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In the face of fast mass produced fashion Hiut is taking a more focused approach, celebrating each individual pair of locally made jeans—and encouraging those who buy the wares to continue the process with the HistoryTag. Hiut is available on the brand's website, where you can pick your denim (organic or selvage), and then your cut (regular or slim), at prices starting at £130 a pair.

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