We begin our denim story in a small Japanese town called Kojima, the hidden home of some of the best denim in the world. Our friend Edward Barnieh(@edwardkb) travelled to Kojima, and our mill in nearby Fukuyama to explore the unique stories and distinctive history that make this area a one-stop-shop for exceptional denim.
Kojima is home to a particularly unique neighbourhood simply called ‘Jeans Street’. Yep, you heard us, a whole street dedicated to the blue stuff – streets festooned with jeans, denim themed vending machines, graffiti and public art on the same theme, even ice-creams and burgers given a ‘denim’ makeover. It’s here that denim devotees from across the world come to explore the best of the best. A quick trip from Kojima is Fukuyama, and this is where the hard work happens. At our mill in Fukuyama, tradition is evident in everything, from the looms to the dyeing techniques. We wanted the best and that’s exactly what many years of practice delivers - unique washes, super soft products and beautifully robust garments.
“Kojima is home to a particularly unique neighbourhood simply called ‘Jeans Street’. Yep, you heard us, a whole street dedicated to the blue stuff.”
So, how is it done? Old-school rope dyed cotton thread creates deep, strong indigos. While it takes a whole lot longer than more modern methods, the results, soft denim that’s full of character, make it all worthwhile. 'Iro-ochi' is the Japanese term that describes the distinguished fade of indigo dye denim. Combined with the work of wash masters (actual job title) who use volcanic stones to ingrain each and every garment with its own special character, this is a time-honoured process that can’t be rushed.
“While it takes a whole lot longer than more modern methods, old-school rope dyeing creates soft denim that’s full of character.”
When it’s time to cut and sew, fit and construction are front and centre. Each item is meticulously put together to maintain a great fit, and, depending on the garment, we use bar tacks, chain stitches and rivets to make sure our denim really goes the distance. Looking around the mill, seeing history put to work, you can be sure that your jeans are part of a special story and proud tradition.