Innovation That Matters

Jeans are made by prison inmates


Gaolhouse Denim is collaborating with a number of British prisoners, giving them meaningful, paid work while also creating premium jeans for consumers.


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In the UK there are 85,000 prisoners, but only 10,000 of them are doing valuable work with their time. In order to change this, Gaolhouse Denim is now collaborating with a number of British inmates, giving them meaningful, paid work while also creating premium jeans for consumers.

Working with Her Majesty’s Prison Service, Gaolhouse Denim offers a scheme that is voluntary for inmates, but will teach them the skills required to tailor a pair of jeans. Under the supervision of a fashion expert, prisoners undergo a rigorous training process that gives them the skills to create a top quality pair of jeans. Each workshop has multiple roles with different levels of responsibility, and inmates are rewarded with money to spend on food, drinks, stamps or books while in jail or placed into a savings account for when their sentence is finished. However, according to Gaolhouse, the real incentives come with the sense of achievement, work ethic and valuable skills learnt on the job, which can make a big difference in life outside of the prison walls.

The first run of Gaolhouse Denim’s inaugural jeans design will be limited to 200 pairs and can be bought on the company’s website for GBP 119. A portion of the proceeds is donated to charity. Are there other ways to give prisoners the chance to do something productive while they’re serving time?



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