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Blackhorse Lane Ateliers Aids Local Charity

Blackhorse Lane Ateliers is supporting swimming.

The U.K. company, which produces its own label and small batches for other brands, has donated 150 pairs of men’s jeans to East London Waterworks Park to raise money for its crowdfunding campaign. East London Waterworks Park is a charity that aims to purchase the 14-acre ex-Thames Water Depot in Waltham Forest and transform it into the first new public swimming ponds in London to be created since 1777. 

The ponds would allow more than 1,000 people to swim each day for free and the park would be the largest community rewilding plot bought from the U.K. government. Sustainably maintained, it would create habitats for wildlife such as bats and birds and be the first public swimming ponds in the U.K. to be filled with rainwater cleaned naturally by reeds and other aquatic plants. 

Thus far East London Waterworks Park has raised 412,000 pounds ($497,906) of its goal of 500,000 pounds ($604,255).

“Our company’s ethos marries perfectly with the campaign. Once we discovered the project we knew we had to do something to help it become a reality,” said Blackhorse Lane Ateliers founder Han Ates, a 2020 Rivet 50 honoree. “The park shares many of our ambitions as a company. We focus on sustainability, want to give back to the community and aim to produce a product of unmatched quality. We hope the jeans sell really well and contribute to this amazing idea.”

The raw denim jeans, retailing at 200 pounds ($242) each, were made by hand at Blackhorse Lane Ateliers’ factory in Walthamstow. They were designed by young people affected by knife crime: the buttons and rivets are made from confiscated knives as part of the brand’s community initiative known as The Cut Project.

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In the year ending March 2022, there were 45,391 knife crime offenses in England and Wales—a 42 percent increase from 2021, but below the 55,078 recorded in the year ending March 2020.

The jeans will be sold at market stalls in Waltham Forest and Hackney in November and December and all proceeds will go towards the crowdfunding campaign.

London’s only craft jean maker, Blackhorse Lane Ateliers launched its own—and still ongoing—crowdfunding campaign in April 2022 to advance the opening of a wash house within its East London factory. The first of its kind in the city, it will have a capacity of 400-700 garments per week.

“In line with our core values, our washing and finishing lab will be a space where students, small start-ups and larger heritage brands will be able to research and develop new and more sustainable ways of working with denim washes,” the brand said.

In 2020 the factory received more than 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from the Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology’s (BFTT) Small to Medium Enterprises Creative R&D Program for the project.