With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hartford Business: Hartford Denim Company

Local. Sustainable. Local. Sustainable. It's practically a mantra these days. Most often used in regards to food, those on the local and sustainable wagon can now stay local and sustainable with their jeans thanks to the Hartford Denim Company. Located in downtown on 75 Pratt Street, Sad City visited with the guys from the Hartford Denim Company last week.

When we walked into the shop on Pratt Street it reminded us of wandering through old barns in Vermont. Most of the tools in the shop look to be in the area of 100 years old and the whole shop has a decidedly old-world rustic feel to it.

The Hartford Denim Company guys told us that the goal was to make high-quality, sustainable clothes. They guarantee their jeans for life, if you need a repair, bring them into the shop and they will make the repair at no cost. Want an extra pocket on your jeans customized to carry your IPhone? These guys will do that for you. Each pair of jeans is handmade and unique and the tag on the back is in the shape of Connecticut.

We were given a brief lesson and denim while being shown the different spools on denim in the shop. While we had no idea that there were so many different types of denim, there is no doubt that the Hartford Denim Company guys know their denim and have a wide variety of denims on-hand to make jeans from.

These guys aren't just one-trick ponies either. On the work table in the shop we saw a denim pullover, and leather "man purse" but nothing caught our eye like the heavy red leather jacket on laying across the work bench.

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"What is that?" Encouraged to try the jacket on along with a pair of jeans, we did feel a little absurd trying to ask questions changing our pants and then getting buckled up in a heavy red winter jacket in the middle of an old-world workshop. But let's face it, feeling absurd is par for the course for us.

What we can tell you is there is no doubt that the unique jacket would hold up through even the coldest New England winter. As far as the jeans, they are a little stiff when you first try them on but that is all by design. The denim will break in and conform to the owner's body, not unlike a pair of boots.

The guys at the Hartford Denim Co. told me they are in the shop every day and if someone is interested in a pair of jeans the best thing to do is to stop by and try on a few pairs. Most of the jeans run about $225, pricey at first blush for some, but not so when you consider that most high-end designer jeans run $150-$200 and will only last a couple years as compared to the lifetime guarantee offered by the Hartford Denim Co.

If you are interested in stopping by the Pratt Street shop and checking out the wares you can get in touch with Marshall Deming through Facebook here to make sure someone will be at the shop when you want to stop by.

Before you go to Westfarms and drop $100 plus on off the rack jeans that may or may not be made in sweatshops and will only last 1-2 years, give some consideration to staying local and sustainable and check out the Hartford Denim Company over at 75 Pratt Street. Sad City enthusiastically recommends.


  1. couldn't agree more. these jeans are a real investment in a quality product. plus, you can go down to pratt street and meet with the designers, see their production process... it is a really unique and exciting experience. and girls - they have amazing skirts!

  2. These jeans guys from the Hartford Denim Co. with their visionary eye are what it's all about people. The City of Hartford is lucky to have them and their cutting edge designs right here on Pratt Street!!!!. What a win win situation... you can support this progressive business AND get the coolest jeans you've ever had in your life that will last for the rest of your life! Nice.

  3. I had no idea this was happening in my own backyard. Hartford needs more of this. I hope these people don't decide to leave town before I can cop a pair but it would seem that this is the kind of thing that is more successful in SF or Brooklyn. Is there a website for this company? And do they use selvage denim? Japanese or American?

  4. http://hartforddenimcompany.com/