|Industry||Outdoor apparel, Sporting goods|
|Founder||David and Clare Hieatt|
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. Howies often use natural fabrics as alternatives to petrochemical-derived modern fabrics. Examples include organic cotton, Merino wool and recycled cotton. 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.
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". Branding expert Mark Simmons (author) was Managing Director from 1999-2001. The company relocated from London to Wales in 2001 and the company's first proper mail order catalogue is produced.
In December 2006, the Hieatts sold the company to The Timberland Company. In November 2008, Howies was cited as the 6th most 'recession-proof' company in the UK. 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. In December 2011, Howies closed their London shop, which was situated on Carnaby Street.
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.
- Daring to be different in a brand new way, The Guardian, 2004-05-29 Accessed on August 24, 2007.
- howies mixes fun with ecology, Financial Times, 2006-03-10 Accessed on August 29, 2007.
- "Feature.003 HOWIES", "STEAL-LIFE", January 2005. Accessed on August 23, 2007.
- howies Interview, Issue 18, Singletrack Magazine, 2004-12-15. Accessed on August 23, 2007.
- howies - now more than just an escape route, Llwybro-Routes, Welsh Assembly Government’s Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks
- Timberland buys 'green' company, BBC News Online, 2007-02-13 Accessed on August 24, 2007.
- howies, Our History, Accessed on August 23, 2007.
- David v Goliath battle as Welsh jeans company tells Levi's to butt out, 2003-05-03
- Timberland buys howies, Inteletex, 2006-12-05 Accessed on August 24, 2007.
- Stores must up their game to beat recession, 2008-11-03.
- Tweet from David Hieatt, 2009-09-17.
- howies – a small independent, ethically minded store forced to close London Store, 2011-12-17.
- "On Our Own Two Feet" a howies blog post, 2012-01-06.