When we were kicking around some ideas for a logo, we wanted it to come from the farm but didn’t know what exactly. I called Joby Barnard and asked him could he have a think. In his quiet, unassuming way, he said he would. Each night we would leave the chicken shed to go home just as the barn owl who lives opposite, would go hunting. So when Joby sent his one idea through, it was the owl. And we all said, that was cool.
Like coffee, like wine, like bread, if you start with the best ingredients, you’re way ahead of the rest. At Hiut Denim, we believe in quality and in the skill it takes to make something great. We work with the best mills from around the world. Where it’s possible, we use organic denim. And then we allow our Grand Masters the time to practise their art.
One stitch at a time.
We like to know the history of things. Where they have been. What they did. HistoryTag helps you tell the stories of the things you own.
It can show the history of a thing from its creation, through its life with its first owner, and onwards as it gets passed on and handed down.
It’s very simple – just type the Secret Code that comes with your pair of jeans, and you will see the history of them. Then, if you want, you can add to that history via Twitter and Flickr as they go along their journey.
Our love for our things – our pens, shoes, cameras, our books, our music, our jeans – usually has something to do with the stories that we attach to them. Sometimes the stories are our own, sometimes other people’s.
The places we go. The people we meet. The ideas we have. The companies we start. The tender moments. The excitement we feel. The failures. The successes. And, all the moments that fall in between these times.
But those memories are subject to one threat: It’s called ‘time passing’. And with time passing those important memories fade. Even the unforgettable brilliant ones. That’s what makes our memories oh so fragile.
That got us at Hiut Denim to thinking…
On the one hand, we have the Luddite desire to make something well, to make something that lasts. And on the other hand, we have the geeky side of us that understands the power of the internet to tell stories.
For us, it’s like two roads coming together. And where they meet, is a really interesting place. And, as a company that’s where we want to be. At those crossroads between Luddite and geek.
That’s why Hiut Denim will be the first jeans company in the world to have a HistoryTag. This is crazy good.
After all, if we make a pair of great jeans that last, so should the memories that are made in them.
So, how does it work?
It’s super simple. Each jean will come with a unique number. Your unique number. You go to the HistoryTag website and register. That’s it.
Then you can upload pictures of where you went, what you did, who you did it with… to the HistoryTag website.
So those memories get saved. Not a big deal right now. But when you look back, it will become a big deal.
And yes, the HistoryTag is a bit like a blank iPod, but as you add more and more music it becomes more and more interesting or in our case, the more memories you add to it, the more fascinating it becomes.
So if in the future, your jeans get handed down, or end up in a second hand jeans shop, their memories will go along with them.
Your memories won’t be forgotten which we think is good. A good marriage between Luddite and geek.
And that’s the genius of the HistoryTag. And that’s the genius of making a product to last. It will give our objects more meaning. It will mean we throw things away less. Because it attaches stories to the objects that we love.
At Hiut, we want to have ideas that no on has had. We are not here to make up the numbers. We don’t want to play small just because we have started out small.
We want to change the denim industry. We want to be history makers as well as jeans makers.
HistoryTag helps tell the story of things you own. It can show the history of a thing from its creation, through its life with its first owner, and onwards as it gets passed on and handed down.
An item tagged with a unique Secret Code from HistoryTag has its own page on HistoryTag.com, where photos and tweets chronicling its life will gather.
How does it work?
HistoryTag partners with manufacturers who want to tell the story of their products. During manufacture, every item is assigned its own Secret Code which will be fixed, stamped, printed or stitched on to the item somewhere discreet. The machinists or craftspeople making the item take photos of the process and these are posted to the HistoryTag Flickr account and appear on the item’s own page.
So before it’s even shipped, every product has its own unique page showing the stages of its creation, from basic materials to its finished state.
When someone buys a HistoryTagged product, they can enter the Private Key on HistoryTag.com and claim the item as theirs. For every item a person has claimed, they can specify a unique hashtag for it and if they post a tweet using that hashtag, or post a photo on Flickr tagged with it, those tweets or pictures appear on the item’s page.
Over time this will build into a history of the item.
If the original owner passes the item on, or sells it, the new owner can claim it as theirs and continue telling the story.
Why is this a good idea?
The best way to make the world a better place is to pay more attention to it. To notice more.
And one thing we can do is to pay more attention to the things we make, buy and own.
HistoryTag is designed to make that easy for the manufacturers and owners of all sorts of things.
Not just because it’s responsible but because it’s interesting.
We have to make things with more value and make that value more tangible. It’s not enough to just say that our products are hand-crafted in unique locations by deeply caring artisans – we have to prove that it’s true. Let people see behind the scenes.
And, if we give people unique connections to products – deeper than just ownership – they’ll live with them longer and value them more.
I want to know more about the products I buy. But I don’t want to read endless impact statements and environmental reports and I can no longer just rely on how a brand ‘feels’ – marketing people have gotten too good at faking authenticity. So I’d like to see behind the scenes a little bit. See where and how the thing was made. Who made it. Not just generally, but my specific thing.
And I’d like to tell that story too. I’m using digital tools to document my life, if it was easy to do that with some of my prized possessions that’d be nice too. Maybe it’ll stop me wasting money on something new sooner than I need to, and maybe it’ll help me prove the value of my thing if I ever want to resell it.