TCB x Second Sunrise: Our latest collaboration!

We are proud to present our first collaboration with a Japanese denim brand! We first met TCB owner Hajime Inoue back in 2016 and knew we wanted to work with him right away. Goods from TCB are characterized by the beautiful way they are sewn, exact but not perfect in a soulless way, the choice of materials which is usually on the lighter side of the weight scale and Inoues everlasting love for cats which is often appearant in small details of the garments. In combination these factors make up a brand that has a lot of genuine feeling and is true to itself and the history of workwear. 

In our store we have a big archive of textiles that we find inspiring in one way or another, and we thought why not ask Hajime if he wants to do a collaboration with us? Our archive holds all kinds of American denim related workwear, spanning from pieces of early work clothes worn by American miners in the late 1800's that Douglas helped out to excavate for abandoned Nevada silver mines in 2009 to jeans and jackets that were worn as casual everyday garments in the later half of the 20'th century.

We felt that there was no need for another version of a pair of American five pocket jeans inspired by the originals from the past or another denim jacket from the middle of the last century because these garments have been recreated by so many for several decades now, an art that the denim community is slowly honing to perfection. Instead, we came to think of a pair of Swedish work pants form the 40's that we acquired back in 2012. Being Swedes we felt it would be fun to be a part of the recreation of a pair of Swedish trousers and to share our legacy of work clothes with the rest of the world. Given the low population of Sweden compared to other countries, these pants are a rarity compared to the amount of work clothes produced in America or other European countries at the same time. This is actually the first and only time we've seen a pair of these particular pants.

 At a meeting one hot summer en Berlin we showed Hajime some pictures of the pants and he agreed to reproduce them! The result is the TCB x Second Sunrise Tabbys work pant! 

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The TCB reproduction laid out beside our original. Note the completely straight, almost bulging back rise! This way of cutting pants is reminiscent of 18'th and 19'th century style garment construction and results in a roomy fit that gives the wearer plenty of space to move around. 
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The orignial pants were made by Swedish work wear brand Algots and they dont have any markings that allow us to date them exactly but we have found a picture in a catalogue from 1945 where they are advertised as "Work pants in a practical model". The most eye-catching detail is the unusual cinch, which is extended beyond its usual length and is fastened in the side seams. The extended belt loops that are divided in two are also a very interesting detail!

On the right hand side the cinch is elongated to create a loop, intended to hang a hammer or other tools in. The pants also have a pocket on the right leg for small tools, and traditionally in Sweden this was where you kept your measuring stick. These details are signs of the pants being intended to be worn by workmen like carpenters, painters, mechanics or people in similar trades. Therefore TCB have decided to call them "Tabby's work pants".
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Algots work pants
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These pants have been through a lot and the different tones of blue represented in their fades are truly beautiful. They have been mended several times and even the mending patches have started to fade! 

  Algots work pants
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We couldn't be more pleased with the reproduction made by TCB. The fabric chosen is a lightweight indigo denim and all the seams are meticulously reproduced using the same kind of machines as were originally used in the 40's. The feeling of the original pants has been captured beautifully and we can confirm that they are very comfortable to wear!

Algots vintage Swedish work wear

The company Algots was founded in 1907 by the traveling merchant Algot Johansson in the Swedish city Borås. In 1932 they were the first company in Sweden to use assembly line production and by 1944 they were one of Swedens biggest companies with their 650 employees. At this time they were making clothing for workers and also strong, reliable leisurewear and sportswear for both men and women. Algots peaked in the 60's, employing 2000 people at one time, but sadly went bankrupt in 1977 as many other Swedish textile producers did during the 70's when Swedish manufacturers were unable to compete with the wages found in other countries and domestic produced garments became considered too expensive.

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The Algots factory at Bryggargatan in Borås 1944

 Algots work pants

A closer look on our original pants tell us that they have many stories to tell.

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One of the patches used to reinforce the front of the thigh has evidently been a part of another pair of pants, and we can still see the stitches from pockets that used to be sown onto it.

Perhaps it was another pair of Algots pants? It is not a far fetched idea to think that a laborer would have bought several pairs of identical pants, and repaired them with scraps of the old and worn ones. It is common to see work garments that have been repaired with another pair, usually the front of a pair of pants will be worn out first so two pairs of worn out pants could be used to make one of them live longer, using the back part to repair the front of the other. You can see a very typical example of this on these 1960's Wrangler jeans from our archive!
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Algots work pants

The buttons used are made of brass and have the classic Algots logo. Some of them have ripped out with time and have been replaced with whatever was available, a common problem even today when sometimes the top button of a pair of jeans can eat its way through the fabric after many years of wear. 

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At the right hand side we find the cinch that is fastened in a loop to create a holder for tools, a clever and efficient way to create a practical detail with very small time expenses!

The cinch is a common detail on workwear from the past. It allows the wearer to adjust the size of the waist according to their needs, which is specially practical if you want to wear another pair of pants underneath them to keep warm in the winter or if you're buying pants for a big crew of people. On these pants the chinch is unusually long and serves as a half belt that also tightens the entire back of the pants when used.

In addition to the cinch there are also two extra long belt loops at the back, a very clever way to keep the long chinch in place. The belt loop is divided with a bar tack stitch, allowing the wearer to wear a belt in the upper loops. As if the cinch and belt loops weren't enough the pants also have buttons for braces! In short, there is no risk what so ever that a wearer would accidentally drop their pants.

TCB Swedish work Pants

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Since no Algots buttons could be found for the reproduction the TCB pants have plain donut buttons in the fly and a laurel leaf button in the waistband. To us this is a reasonable substitute, as these buttons are also commonly seen on workwear from the era.

No brace buttons are added to the reproduction pants, but we would be happy to add some for you if you want them :) 
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We appreciate workwear from all over the world and garments from Sweden have a special place in our hearts. This project has been especially exciting for us because it is the first time we have a reproduction made on a bigger scale! Our earlier reconstruction projects have only resulted in single garments - like these 1870's miners jeans. This is the first time we can offer a reproduction of a garment from our archive in a size range and we are looking forward to seeing them being worn by our friends and customers for many years to come! 
As mentioned before, the reproduction version called TCB x Second Sunrise Tabby's Work Pant and will be released soon. 

 


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