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Inside the Factory heads to Cardigan to learn how to make jeans

05 Jan 2024 2 minute read
Gregg Wallace at the Hiut factory, Cardigan. Image: BBC

BBC’s Inside the Factory team pay a visit to Cardigan’s Hiut Jeans factory next Tuesday to find out how jeans are made.

In the episode, which airs on Tuesday 9 January, cult brand Hiut and their team of ‘GrandMasters’ take Gregg Wallace through the whole process of making a pair of jeans from the cutting of the fabric to posting the finished garment out to a customer.

Gregg will also be seen visiting another factory in Italy to explore the fascinating secrets behind how denim cloth is made and then transformed into one of the world’s most popular items of clothing.

“Our town is making jeans again” 

David Hieatt, the founder of Hiut, said: “Cardigan is a small town in West Wales of 4,000 good people. 400 of them used to make jeans. They made 35,000 pairs a week. For three decades.

“Then 21 years ago the factory closed. It left town. But all that skill and knowhow remained. Without any way of showing the world what they could do.”

“That’s why, in 2012, we started The Hiut Denim Company. To bring manufacturing back home. To use all that skill on our doorstep. And to breathe new life into our town. As one of the Grand Masters said to us when we were interviewing: “This is what I know how to do. This is what I do best.” We just sat there thinking we have to make this work. So yes, our town is making jeans again

Employment boost

Jack Gilham from Hiut said: “It has been a long time coming, but we are very excited to be featured on Inside the Factory and for the world to see the skill and craftsmanship of our team of makers and the work that goes into making our jeans.

“We are a small business with a big mission: ‘To get our town making jeans again’ and we are hoping this exposure will help us grow the business and employ more people from our town.

“We are about to begin a training programme for future ‘GrandMasters’ and have just awarded a grant to employ two new recruits, so this programme couldn’t have come at better time.”

You can catch the episode on Tuesday 9 January at 9pm on BBC 2 and BBC iPlayer soon after.


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Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago

Two hundred and fifty to three hundred quid for a pair of jeans? How many in Wales can afford to pay that? This is ‘designer label’ rip-off territory for people with more money than sense. This is taking the p**s. Sure, there is a gap in the market for jeans that are made from ethically sourced materials and where workers are paid a decent wage where the cost of a pair of jeans is reasonable at around forty to fifty pounds a pair in contrast to the stuff sold in most high street chain stores made in virtual slave labour… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Padi Phillips
Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
6 months ago

Price is an issue but if an exclusive brand is created people will pay that price. Making exclusive goods for others in areas of low income is established.

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