THE GENEOLOGY OF HOOD JEANS INNOVATIVE JEANS OF TRUE HERITAGE
2018 celebrates twenty years; below is how Hood Jeans became one of the world’s leading specialists of motorcycle jeans.
Hood Jeans are a family company based in Norfolk, England. Chris and Julie set up the company in 1998 but the roots of Hood Jeans go back a lot further.
Chris’s parents (June and Tom) first started making Jeans back in 1955 at the Lee Cooper factory in Harold Wood, London. They met at the factory, Tom being a mechanic and June a machinist, they married in 1957. Over the following years they helped to set up other jean brands but by the late sixties they were ready to set up alone. They called their company Motown Jeans and based this in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex. It was almost twenty years later at the Motown Jeans factory that Chris met Julie and history repeated itself. They both worked there for a further ten years before leaving to set up their own clothing company.
They spent the next few years designing jeans for major high street names; during this time they were asked by a Motocross team to design their race kit. They were given fabrics such as Cordura, Ballistic Nylon and Kevlar to use within the kit and gained much knowledge about the strengths of these hi-tech fabrics.
They continued working on the race kits for two years before combining these new fabrics with their own background in denim Jeans, the seed for Hood Jeans was planted. Chris and Julie worked on these ideas over the next two years before launching the Hood Jeans brand of Motorcycle Jeans in 1998.
When launched the Hood K7 jean was one of the first motorcycle jeans in the UK, it has since become one of the bestselling and most respected motorcycle Jeans on the market.
2015 saw a major leap forward for the Hood Jeans brand with sales increasing by an incredible 70%. This was credited to many reasons, some being the inclusion of a more comfortable K‑tech Para-aramid lining, the adding of a ‘Free Worldwide Delivery Service’ and a ‘Free UK Exchange Service’. Later that year a ‘Subsidised Worldwide Returns Service’ was also added.
SO WHAT NEXT FOR 2018
This year see’s the biggest changes since Hood Jeans first entered the motorcycle jeans sector back in 1998. As from the 21st April 2018 all motorcycle clothing will have to be certified to the proposed European Standard, prEN 17092. For a family business like Hood this brought many questions; how would they cope with the test processes, could a small family business such as Hood Jeans afford the costs involved with certification and how would their jeans stand up to the demands of the new standards. All these factors favour the larger manufacturer so to survive the Hood Jeans business and products had to change.
The development, testing and certification processes took eighteen months and has brought some major improvements to their products. The new K7 Infinity Jean is already causing much talk within the industry, especially with it being the first motorcycle Jean to be certified in the UK to the new PPE Regulation 2016/425; prEN 17092-3, AA rated, denim and para-aramid jeans.
On top of the CE certification the new K7 Infinity also has some great new features including the cooler, more comfortable K‑tech ‘Infinity’ Para-aramid protective fabric and a climate control ‘Airflow’ mesh that covers the whole jean. The K7 Infinity Jeans now come’s with D3O® T5 EVO X hip and knee armour fitted as standard. They also bring some great new design features including; new denim, labels and Infinity embroidery. Sadly the new regulations have meant the loss of a couple of their much loved styles of jeans; these just didn’t sell in big enough numbers to make it commercially viable to put them through the certification process. Well, for now at least.
The new CE regulation certification process did introduce Hood Jeans to some new partners. These partners are experts with abrasion fabrics and in the manufacture of CE approved garments. Their knowledge has been of much help to Hood Jeans during the past eighteen months. This new expertise added to the Hood Jeans heritage, knowledge, and experience of the reinforced denim motorcycle jeans sector has helped to create some great new products. The main production will now take place in China but the development, design, sales team and most importantly heart of the Hood products will remain in the UK, as will a small production capability.
Hood Jeans remains a family business; Chris states “this helps them to give the personal service to their customers” something that Hood Jeans are well known for. Julie finishes by saying “our customers have given us so much support, encouragement and custom over the years; it’s this backing that’s made us the company we are today”.
Subject to our recent telephone conversation concerning the high speed accident I had whilst wearing my Hood jeans. As you