Old jeans | New bags | U.S. made
About this project
“I can’t think of any other piece of clothing that elicits the kind of emotional response and memory that blue jeans do. You’re touching your own history every day. You’re wearing your own history every day.” Lynn Downy of Levi’s
Like us, you’ve probably lived a lot of life in a pair of blue jeans—big moments and a thousand everyday ones in between. Eventually, though, holes show up where they shouldn’t be. Styles change. We change.
Alongside other textile discards, our denim gets turned over to a second-hand outlet or shipped overseas. Or worse, it gets tossed—more than 10.2 billion pounds of clothing end up in U.S. landfills every year.
Hem + Haw was born out of the love of a good pair of jeans and the desire to put a dent in textile waste while employing U.S. workers to bring it all to life.
Bags for real life
“Jeans represent democracy in fashion.” -Giorgio Armani
Here’s the thing about jeans—a good pair hangs in there, and they even look better worn-in. We knew the designs for our first Hem + Haw line had to be nimble, to maximize the material in a single pair of jeans as well as make use of the wide variety of washes available. We’ve landed on two versatile styles. Both bags have a dark taupe lining made from cotton grown, dyed and woven in the U.S.
The Conroy zip pouch is the perfect addition to another bag or to use alone for a night out. It comes in two denim-and-leather combo colors. Inside you’ll find a handy leather pocket, perfectly sized for credit cards. Also included: a leather wrist strap you can easily take on and off.
The oConner clutch is a lightweight bag for carrying essentials. It comes with a matching 48.5” adjustable strap with button studs to easily convert for cross-body wear. The dark/light denim combo comes in a camel or chocolate colored leather.
We think you’ll find these bags go with the flow and live it up wherever you take them—just like your favorite pair of jeans.
Born in the U.S.A.
The whole world loves American movies, blue jeans, jazz, and rock and roll. ~Billy Joel
Having seen firsthand what happens in communities when economic livelihoods disappear, we’re committed to U.S. manufacturing. We’ve plowed through research, asked a lot of questions and driven ten hours through the Blue Ridge Mountains in one day to make sure we found the right partners.
As a result, we’ve sourced materials from all over the country and learned from a variety of local craftsman. The Hem + Haw pieces you’ll receive have been put together by hands that have been working in their respective fields for years.
Pre-ordering a Hem + Haw bag means you’ve re-used a pair of jeans and contributed to building up a local economy right here in the U.S.
Backer rewards made simple
Thanks for helping us make this happen.
We’d love to stay in touch
Special thanks to some special people
Video: Tony Trinh Design Group
Map Graphic: Ashley Walton
Model: Catherine McWilliams
Risks and challenges
Quite a few life lessons come from working in a creative agency—crazy things almost always happen and you learn to find a way to figure out the problems.
We’re ready to do what needs to be done to get these bags in your hands. We’re used to things “just coming up” and finding ways to work around and through them.