High-end denim designer donates 150 pairs of jeans to East London swimming ponds project

Blackhorse Lane Ateliers has donated 150 pairs of mens jeans to East London Waterworks Park to sell to raise money for its crowdfunding campaign. The total raised to date stands at more than £412,000 of the £500,000 the project wants to raise to demonstrate the community’s enthusiasm for the new Park.

East London Waterworks Park is the brainchild of a volunteer-led charity based across Hackney and Waltham Forest, formed with the aim of buying the 5.68-hectare Thames Water depot and transforming it into the first new swimming ponds in London to be created since Hampstead Ponds in 1777.

The sustainably maintained ponds will allow more than 1,000 people to swim each day for free. There would also be spaces for scientific research and arts, a make and repair space and a café. The park will be the largest community rewilding plot bought from the UK government. It will create habitats for rare butterflies, invertebrates, bats, and birds, and the first public swimming ponds in the UK to be filled with rainwater cleaned naturally by reeds and other aquatic plants.

The jeans are sustainable and made by hand using raw denim by Blackhorse Lane Ateliers, London’s only craft jean maker, at its factory in Blackhorse Lane in Walthamstow. Retailing at £220, the jeans were designed by young people affected by knife crime: the buttons and rivets are made from confiscated knives, making them truly unique.

Han Ates created Blackhorse Lane Ateliers after a long career in denim led him to move production from Eastern Europe to China before settling in his adopted city: “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.

“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 jeans will be selling for £200 a pair on market stalls in Waltham Forest and Hackney in November and December, and all proceeds will go towards the crowdfunder (www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/elwp). If you would like to have a look and buy a pair for someone for Christmas, you can find the jeans at:

  • 26 November 11am-6pm: Go East Vintage at Patchworks (58 Church Rd, London, E10 7JQ)
  • 27 November 11am-6pm: Go East Vintage at Patchworks (58 Church Rd, London, E10 7JQ)
  • 3 December 11am-3pm: The Creative Side of London at Waltham Forest Community Hub (18A Orford Rd, London E17 9LN)
  •          17 December 11:30am-4pm: A Celebration For Christmas Gift Day and Craft Fair at Stoke Newington Library (184 Stoke Newington Church St, London, N16 0JL)

Abigail Woodman, Chair and Volunteer at East London Waterworks Park, says it is the most incredible act of generosity: “We cannot thank Han and his team enough. This really is fantastic and gets us even closer to our target! It is just one of the tremendous signs of support from the community. Everyone is really buying into the idea; we even had a £50,000 donation recently. Come and check out the jeans and speak to us about the project.”