We recently met with Miles Chinn, one of the founders of akkadenim whom with Hill Law and Nick O'Donnell are the three fashion industry veterans behind the new labels, experience that has been gained working with and for some of the worlds biggest luxury brands. They have recently launched their own denim line currently live on the "kickstarter" crowdfunding platform being seemingly intent on disrupting the global denim industries to support children’s charities.
TSK - "You are initially launching with key styles, so do you have plans to develop your product offering further?"
Miles - "Yes, we are developing new styles behind the scenes daily focusing on never before seen re-cycled up-cycled selvedge denim weaving techniques globally exclusive to akkadenim that one expects from recognised Denim Masters. This is very much part of our innovative launch strategy as we see no need to develop a huge dull collection being the norm for global denim brands of today and incur the costs associated with this. One of the key aspirations for akkadenim is to pass on a percentage of our profits to help others in need. It's not that we are risk averse being experienced denim manufacturers it's just not a rush strategy for us but much more a considered enjoyable spiritual process."
Despite being recognised Denim Masters and competing in the Denim World Championships, akkadenim set up the brand to uniquely e-tail jeans directly at a significantly lower price point than today’s designer denim, using their experience and knowledge to deliver a higher level of quality and detail. They are able to do so as they have long produced jeans for other premium denim brands through their denim factories in Asia. Setting benchmarks for their ethical treatment of workers they set about producing a range of ethical jeans to educate the consumer and force the question of other brand’s inflated retail prices in today’s premium market.
TSK – “The market is very competitive so what sets akkadenim apart from the crowd? ”
Miles – “This is a project close to our hearts that we have been working towards for fifteen years but now the time is right to launch akkadenim. The consumer is more educated than ever on working conditions for factory workers, but being ethical shouldn’t mean the product costs the earth. We are able sell a higher quality jean at a below reasonable price and provide a nice place for people to work and donate a percentage of profits to charity and still make a small margin ourselves.”
TSK – “ You mentioned donating a percentage of profits to charity, how does this work? ”
Miles – “We passionately believe in education for underprivileged children as an essential right for future generations, a few brands have come close over the past few years offering similar initiatives, which is of course wonderful but none-the-less does not address the core issue which is the developing third world being subjected to powering the Western world’s insatiable thirst for cheap fast fashion spear-headed by the lower market High Street retailers.”
“We are currently affiliated with two not-for-profit children’s charities in India and Cambodia. The Sahasra Deepika Foundation For Education in Bangalore India and Dara Children’s Trust in Cambodia. The philosophy of both is that of empowerment for young minds in the local communities through basic access to education in a safe environment.”
“A percentage of our profits are donated to these charities to fund specific local projects from housing to education and as we grow we hope to further strengthen our projects with them and extend our partnerships to include other like minded concerns.”
“help us help you help them”
The akkadenim project launched on Kickstarter recently and at the time of us going to press has reached 34% of it's target. When we met Miles, he bought some of the akkadenim products currently on offer for us to check out, we cast our eyes over these below but do first check out the video akkadenim created for kickstarter..
First impressions are good, these look and feel like a very high quality denim jean, the cut is a slim fit but not too skinny so a good all rounder for a cleaner look. The demand for skinny is on the wane with fuller styles making ground again. There is also great attention to detail from the guys at akka with lovely touches that you can immediately see on closer inspection.
The denim is a 12oz sanforized (which means you can wash it without too much shrinkage) unlike non-sanforized or rigid raw denim it will hold it's colour for longer too. Just follow the washing instructions.
The first details you notice are on the outside as akka have used the ancient technique from Japan called rope insertion, a piece of cotton rope is delicately inserted into key elements of the pockets and every belt loop where the denim is wrapped and stitched around the rope. This age old technique adds strength (stops the pockets stretching) but mainly is key to developing a stronger fade around the rope area.
akka have also used an Italian Chambray polka dot print for print for the pocket bags and to bind the seams internally.
The denim is also a great quality that washes well and has a strong indigo hue. the rivets and alloys are also of a very high quality with subtle akka branding. Which is incidentally the only branding as Miles wanted the quality of the jeans to shine through rather than it to be about the arcuate or the leather patch.
The denim itself comes across as real denimhead raw quality with a deep indigo hue. The rivets and alloys are also of a very high quality with subtle akka branding. Which is incidentally the only design branding Miles wanted as each jean is intentionally crafted to take second place to the real purpose of akkadenim being supporting under-priviledged children in need.
All of the above are unseen/unheard of on jeans that retail at £59.99 let alone the exclusive price of £42 + shipping for the kickstarter campaign.
You can buy them here
Frustrated with the lack of high quality chino's on today’s market from premium brands for the right price, this other staple of a man's wardrobe was where they looked next. They sourced a stretch selvedge cotton from Japan and then added further functional design details and a level of finishing that again you cannot find anywhere else.
There is a concealed mobile phone pocket on the front where normally sits the coin pocket with additional selvedge trim detail to boot and a double pocket on the back so you can carry a small card wallet above your normal pocket. Both nice touches that mean you can carry your urban essentials discreetly and securely whilst keeping everything out of sight.
Internally there are 9 ounce chambray lining's for the pockets and the binding on the seams. These are the sort of extra's you would expect on a tailored designer trouser but again the akka pricing surprise offers these for £79.99 normally though on kickstarter you can grab a pair for £59 + shipping. Or 3 pairs for £150!
The prices are fantastic the quality well above what you would expect at the price...the principal and ethos are on point...whats not to like.
You can buy them here