Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Had 'No Airs or Graces' at Palace Reception, Says Attendee

"They're super down-to-earth," says Hiut Denim Co. founder David Hieatt

A “down-to-earth” Meghan Markle met the husband-and-wife team behind some of her famous jeans.

David and Clare Hieatt, the founders of Hiut Denim Co. — whose environmentally-friendly jeans Meghan wore in 2018 on a visit to the Welsh capital of Cardiff — were among those invited to attend palace reception for Prince Charles on Tuesday.

“We said we are super grateful for putting us on the map,” David Hieatt tells PEOPLE. “We explained that we’ve moved factories, and we’ve hired more people and have another three months of back orders to get through.”

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Hearing of the impact put a smile on her face. “I think she hoped that would happen. She was surprised and nicely pleased as well.”

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Since Meghan, 37, made headlines around the world with the skinny jeans, the couple have almost doubled their staff. She and Harry, 34, also chatted to the Hieatts about the environmental impact of the clothing trade.

“She’s super concerned about [that], as we are too,” Hieatt adds. “There’s so much denim in the world, so by default it has the biggest impact. We want to try and lessen our impact. She was very interested in that.”

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Hiut uses organic denim and encourage “a no-wash club. Some people have gone two or three years without washing their jeans. We are looking at recycled cottons, everything. There’s a lot of pesticides used in the production of cotton, which is why organic cotton is so important. We don’t use any plastic. We don’t have a mission statement but a mission question, and the question is: ‘How can we be lower impact today than we were yesterday?’ ”

“We feel incredibly humbled,” he says. “The people in the factory have great skills, and nobody really ever shines the spotlight on them. Suddenly the world’s attention is on them, and I’m really proud for them – they deserve that.”

Hieatt says it was a “nice surprise” to meet the couple at the celebration of Harry’s father, Prince Charles.

“They’re super down-to-earth,” he says of the royal parents-to-be. “I was pleasantly surprised at how normal they are with no airs and graces. They find themselves in a very odd, particular position of getting a lot of attention and I think they want to use that to do good things. That’s their purpose, their drive.”

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