From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Traded as howies
Industry Outdoor apparel, Sporting goods
Founded 1995
Founder David and Clare Hieatt
Headquarters Cardigan, Wales
Products Clothing

Howies is a clothing company based in Cardigan Bay, Wales. The company was founded in 1995 and produces eco-friendly T-shirts, jeans and sportswear, with the aim of having ethically correct practices.[1][2] Howies often use natural fabrics as alternatives to petrochemical-derived modern fabrics. Examples include organic cotton, Merino wool and recycled cotton.[3][4] Howies T-shirts often have images or slogans with political or environmental themes and are screen printed by hand in a workshop located at the brand headquarters.[4]


The Howies brand has a strong identity within many UK active sports, notably mountain biking, surfing and skateboarding. This identity has been reinforced by the sponsorship of a number of athletes in these disciplines over the years. It has also generated a number of special edition products associated with the Howies brand, notably with Curtis Bikes who continue to offer Howies blue as a standard colour option on many of their bikes. The company is particularly well known for its t-shirt designs, many of which have become known as classic designs, notably the classic logo design as well as 9 bikes, CCTV, Life*, Blood Donor and Home Work.


Howies was founded by Clare and David Hieatt in 1995. The name "Howies" is derived from Clare's maiden name of "Howells".[3][5] Branding expert Mark Simmons (author) was Managing Director from 1999-2001. The company relocated from London to Wales in 2001[6][7] and the company's first proper mail order catalogue is produced.[7]

In 2003, Levi Strauss & Co. threatened to sue Howies over the placement of a logo bearing tab on the rear right buttock pocket of their jeans. The Howies Tab is grey, the Levis Tab is Red.[8]

In December 2006, the Hieatts sold the company to The Timberland Company.[6][9] In November 2008, Howies was cited as the 6th most 'recession-proof' company in the UK.[10] In September 2009, David Hieatt, one of Howies' founders, mentioned on Twitter that he was due to leave the company at the end of October 2009.[11] In December 2011, Howies closed their London shop, which was situated on Carnaby Street.[12]

In January 2012, Howies management team announced that they had purchased the company back and that Howies would continue to operate from Cardigan as an independent company.[13]


  1. ^ Daring to be different in a brand new way, The Guardian, 2004-05-29 Accessed on August 24, 2007.
  2. ^ howies mixes fun with ecology, Financial Times, 2006-03-10 Accessed on August 29, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Feature.003 HOWIES", "STEAL-LIFE", January 2005. Accessed on August 23, 2007.
  4. ^ a b howies Interview, Issue 18, Singletrack Magazine, 2004-12-15. Accessed on August 23, 2007.
  5. ^ howies - now more than just an escape route, Llwybro-Routes, Welsh Assembly Government’s Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks
  6. ^ a b Timberland buys 'green' company, BBC News Online, 2007-02-13 Accessed on August 24, 2007.
  7. ^ a b howies, Our History, Accessed on August 23, 2007.
  8. ^ David v Goliath battle as Welsh jeans company tells Levi's to butt out, 2003-05-03
  9. ^ Timberland buys howies, Inteletex, 2006-12-05 Accessed on August 24, 2007.
  10. ^ Stores must up their game to beat recession, 2008-11-03.
  11. ^ Tweet from David Hieatt, 2009-09-17.
  12. ^ howies – a small independent, ethically minded store forced to close London Store, 2011-12-17.
  13. ^ "On Our Own Two Feet" a howies blog post, 2012-01-06.

External links[edit]