Hiut Denim Co. – Narrowly Focused And Full Of Purpose

Hiut Denim

Hailing from the misty moor of Cardigan, Wales, Hiut Denim Co has utilized every little bit of the town’s denim manufacturing heritage to drive their business forwards with the focussed goal of doing one thing exceptionally. As we touched upon when we first mentioned Hiut Denim on Rawr Denim, David Hieatt recognized that there’s certain potential for denim making in a town of 4,000 people when 10% of them have a rooted history in denim craftsmanship and resurrected what had become a dead industry.

Hanging Pairs of Hiut Denim

Hanging Pairs (photo via S[Edition])

Part of what has driven Hiut forward in their first years of existence is the way they’ve strived to perfect their craft in the denim world, and only in the denim world. They’ve lived thus far by the motto of “do one thing well and it seems, from reactions we’ve seen, to be striving in the right direction. There’s a great deal of craftsmanship that goes into each one pair of Hiut denim, craftsmanship that makes each pair special and unique. The idea is that by having specifically trained craftspeople to do each step of the process, you’ll come up with the best possible jean.

Cuffed Hiut Denim (photo via Hiut)

It’s a great concept, and it comes off well, but it also does drive the price of their jeans high and makes the jeans unaccessible for a considerable proportion of the market. Of course, this is not a new problem, and not a problem that can be solved by many of these smaller factories.

Regardless of cost, Hiut does provide one of the best built jeans on the market today. To demonstrate the exceptional level of craft that justifies their pricing, a recently released factory tour from Cardigan gives an interesting insight into the workings behind each pair of Hiut denim.

Beyond the craftsmanship, a secondary piece of Hiut’s business model that gives them an edge over competitors is their introduction of what they refer to as a “History Tag” in each pair of jeans. A model number is placed on each jean that you can register on their website, then upload pictures of where the jean has been and what they’ve done, as well as documenting repairs, alterations or notable events. You can also see some photos taken when the jean was in production, giving the jean an interesting history and added touch of personalization.

History Tag Promo Image (Photo via Hiut)

A skeptic could say that anyone could create an album on their computer and take pictures of their jeans, but the idea that Hiut has created a place to do it and pushed it upon customers certainly has given them an edge and gold star in the creative thinking department.

However, we’re curious to hear your take. We think Hiut has come into a couple of interesting concepts, but what do you think? Do you prefer to see a brand focus on doing one thing well or do you have an appetite for more variety from the same brands? Do you like the idea of a history tag, and globally speaking, do you think this sort of brand can hold its own against the larger brands?

Let us know in the comments below.

Connor

Based in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Connor grew an interest in raw denim thanks to the process, maturation, patience and craft that goes into each individual pair. He also writes at REPOSITORY which he started alongside Rawr founder Nick Coe.

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  • Chris

    I bought my first pair of Hiut about 4 months after the company started up.
    I was thoroughly impressed with the way David liaised with myself as to whether I would like the jeans slightly longer or shorter depending on whether I wanted to show off the selvedge (yes, obviously I went with the more expensive selvedge 14oz option).

    The quality of the jeans is exceptional. I can honestly say I haven’t seen a better pair of jeans at that price. They are stunning.

    My mistake, however, as a denim novice at this point was not to size down. I have therefore passed them off to my Dad and will look to order another pair in the future (I wish they did a 16oz 0 18oz pair as I keep my Momos for Summer).

    My criticisms?
    Well they only come from a marketing and financial basis:

    I think the HistoryTag isn’t working and they should stop trying to push it, it just doesn’t work imo. Setting up a pretty archive website of the denim after several washes would work better.
    I am also concerned that they’ve now diversified to stock other items and open it isn’t an indication they are struggling financially – or I’ll order my pair now!

    Other things I love:
    The email updates I get as to what interested David and Claire over the last month. Although the book recommendation are sometimes… well not my cup of tea (I bought all of them once and wasn’t overwhelmed).

    Hopefully this gives everyone here an idea about the brand. I don’t buy-in to marketing spin like “do one thing well” – just make my jeans and I’ll be the judge of that but nonetheless you can’t criticise the end product.

    Chris

    • Chris

      Oh and if anyone wants me to take a few pictures of the pair I have I’m more than happy to do so.

      • loki

        Please share!

        • Chris

          Done :)

  • Kyle

    I think Hiut has a great concept, story, and makes what look like a good pair of jeans. However, their prices (according to the webshop) are just too expensive. 230 pounds is too much for jeans that aren’t made with an original proprietary fabric. If they were in the same price range as, say, 3Sixteen, they’d be a real competitor.

    However, looking on Rivet and Hide’s page, they have much cheaper prices – 170 pounds is expensive, but certainly more reasonable. For those willing to pay, I’m sure you get a great pair of jeans.

    • Chris

      Hi Kyle, the website for Hiut is slightly misleading – one series of links takes you to the “expensive” new season denim the other takes you to the cheaper old season denim which is what Rivet and Hide sell but it is also available through the Hiut website. You just need to know where to look.

      Furthering my concern around the financial situation of the company is that 6 months after the year end 2012 denim is still for sale. Still not entirely sure why they didn’t just re-patch, but do know this may be to do with the new fits they introduced.

  • BrownTrousers

    It is great to see these people manufacturing in Wales!

    The problem theynhave is Wales isnpart of the UK and the UK is a high cost place to live. London is particularly so.

    Inevitably they ale an expensive product.

    You could get jeans like this made in say.. Tunisia for much less.

  • Johnson Benjamin

    Well. The concept of an expensive jean is not new. I have quite the understanding of the craftsmanship needed to construct a quality garment or item. The price seems about on on the same level especially if they are doing everything right.
    It would seem to me, as a company, diversity is inevitable. I would wager more than jeans will come eventually.

  • Graham Lowell

    I’ve got a pair of their jeans: I read a piece in a newspaper and was so impressed by what they’re doing that I ordered a pair which are absolutely fantastic. Great quality and attention to detail which I think justifies the cost. I’d agree. though that the History Tag which sounded like a good idea doesn’t seem to have caught on.

  • Chris

    Upload struggling a bit so apologies for the repeats