Blackhorse Lane Ateliers

The Company

Blackhorse Lane Ateliers are an innovative community-based manufacturer producing high-end, crafted denim garments in East London. 

R&D Focus 

The BFTT creative R&D project supported Blackhorse Lane Ateliers ambition to research and develop sustainable laundering and finishing techniques, to create a new and unique ‘London’ denim-washing aesthetic, inspired by the principles of the circular economy. 

The project resulted in the creation of London’s first Denim Wash Lab. The Lab has state-of-the-art machinery and technology capabilities for ongoing R&D, small-scale production and the development of specialist know-how through skills-based training and education. 


Black and white portrait of Rachel Pearce

Rachel Pearce

R&D Project Lead


Rachel has a diverse career spanning over 27 years as a denim consultant. She has worked as a Design Director  (womenswear) at Levi Strauss & Company, a Design Manager at Lee Europe and at the Lee 101 collection. Over the years she has worked with heritage brands such as Barbour, where she designed and developed women denim for the first time in its history and consulted as a Senior Designer for DKNY Jeans based in Singapore. Rachel has a real affinity for fit and silhouette and in-depth knowledge of denim washing and processes. She has a passion for youth culture in denim, and a denim archive and vintage denim store in Margate. Rachel believes that all brands, retailers and designers have an obligation to promote sustainability at every level of the denim product lifecycle.

Black and white portrait of Han Ates

Han Ates

R&D Company Lead

Blackhorse Lane Ateliers Ltd

Han is the founder of Blackhorse Lane Ateliers. He is a second generation Londoner with Turkish Kurdish ancestry. After twenty years of running his factory on Blackhorse Lane manufacturing tailored garments, Han pursued his passion and interest in food, leading to a career as a restaurateur with a prestigious fine-dining restaurant – Homa – in Stoke Newington. The experience fuelled Han’s interest in both community values and sustainable, high quality produce. In 2016 Han returned to his textile roots, completing the holistic circle as Founder of Blackhorse Lane Ateliers in his old factory unit. Here, the small team craft premium quality garments in denim for their own brand and others, and are guided by their core founding-values of quality, community and eco-consciousness.

Black and white portrait of Kate Goldsworthy

Prof Kate Goldsworthy

R&D Academic Mentor


Kate is Professor of Circular Design and Innovation and Co-Director of the Centre for Circular Design at UAL, a world-leading research centre using practice research to innovate, steer and support circular economies and communities around the globe. Kate’s design research operates at the intersection of materials science with design and sustainability principles. As industry and Governments raise the priority of sustainable business, Kate has undertaken a range of industrial consultancy projects for fashion and textiles organisations including Worn Again Technologies Ltd, Filippa K, VF Corporation and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Core skills and competences include:

  • Laser finishing for fashion and textiles
  • Circular economy and circular design research
  • Sustainable business consultancy in the fashion sector


Black and white image of Jane Harris

Prof Jane Harris

R&D Academic Mentor


Jane draws upon over 25 years experience in transdisciplinary research, with a background in textile design and extensive experience of computer graphic imaging.  Jane’s role includes working with internal and external stakeholders including industry partners, up to Government Ministerial level.

Jane devised novel approaches to the digital representation of dress and textiles. With a track record of leading collaborative industry and academic research and development initiatives, involving cross disciplinary creative industry practitioners. Jane’s experience includes board-level representation in sector-leading organisations such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and advisory roles for the EU, EPSRC, AHRC, ACE and Arts Foundation. She is Director of Research and Innovation (Stratford) and Professor of Digital Design & Innovation at University of the Arts London. Core skills and competences include:

  • Strategic leadership and project direction
  • Design research in digital and material cultures
  • CGI for fashion and textiles
  • Knowledge Exchange