About a month ago, I finally retired my old pair of Mr Freedom Jeans. I had worn them nearly non-stop for four years – so it was time to start on a new pair. It was an obvious choice to try and hunt down a NZ made pair of Jeans. Luckily, we have one of the best right here in little ol’ NZ. Ande Whall!
I first came across Ande through the net – found out that that we actually had a guy hand-making jeans in NZ, using some of the best selvage denim from Japan! This was just before the Christchurch earthquakes. Which flattened his workshop and apartment.
Thankfully, with support from family, friends and customers, he slowly got the workshop back up and running. I wasn’t sure if that was the case when I decided to retire the old jeans, so was very happy to find I could actually get a hand-made pair of jeans here in NZ after all.
I got in contact with Ande – I wasn’t quite sure on the fit of things – and actually ended up sending down my old jeans for him to measure and make some recommendations off of. This is what I love about the smaller cottage/boutique/traditional companies – you can actually talk to the person making the product you are purchasing and there is no-one better qualified to talk to about things that the creators themselves.
After a couple of emails, we nailed down the sizing and on his recommendation, I actually switched from one of his special rolls (limited run denim) to his ‘standard’ run, and actually went from the normal fit to the ‘loose’ fit Buffalo Jeans. I should say, loose fit really means relaxed. It’s certainly not baggy. Ande’s reasoning was that the special roll was a lighter Denim, and since I was looking at an everyday, high wearing pair, the heavier material would likely be a better option. It’s rare to have someone ‘down-sell’ you. That is a sign of truly keeping the customers needs above all – and the advice was appreciated.
I confirmed the order, and around a week later, they turned up!
I am now the proud owner of a pair of Ande Whall jeans.
First stop was a soak in some warm water. While some ‘purists’ would likely suggest this as blasphemy, I had already experienced the fun of having blue indigo stain everything (including my legs) for a week or so, therefore I was happy to trade off a little bit of ‘fade’.
I am not going to be doing some weird ‘photo of the week’ on these jeans. I am just planning on wearing them, wearing them and wearing them. Will update you in four or so years!
These aren’t ‘budget’ jeans. But then, they are handmade and they are likely to be on my legs for the majority of the next couple of years. I consider them an investment. Though, I realise I am probably going to end up with one of this special editions as well!