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IndustryOutdoor apparel, Sporting goods
FounderDavid and Clare Hieatt

Howies is a clothing company based in west Wales. The company was founded in 1995 and produces eco-friendly T-shirts, jeans and sportswear, with the aim of having ethically correct practices.[2][3] Howies use natural fabrics as alternatives to petrochemical-derived modern fabrics, including organic cotton, Merino wool and recycled cotton.[4][5] 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.[5]


The Howies brand has a strong identity within many UK active sports, notably mountain biking, surfing and skateboarding, and has sponsored a number of athletes in these disciplines. It has made 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, notably the classic logo design as well as 9 bikes, CCTV, Life*, Blood Donor and Home Work. The Howies name is often written in lowercase - the company's preferred style.


Howies was founded by Clare and David Hieatt in 1995. The name "Howies" is derived from Clare's maiden name of "Howells".[4][6] Howies first marketing and team manager was Jeff Boardman 1996 - 2001. Branding expert Mark Simmons was Managing Director from 1999-2001. The company relocated from London to Wales in 2001[7][8] and the company's first proper mail order catalogue is produced.[8]

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.[9]

In December 2006, the Hieatts sold the company to The Timberland Company.[7][10] In November 2008, Howies was cited as the 6th most 'recession-proof' company in the UK.[11] 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.[12] In December 2011, Howies closed its London shop, which was situated on Carnaby Street.[13]

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.[14]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-10-24. Retrieved 2016-10-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Daring to be different in a brand new way, The Guardian, 2004-05-29 Accessed on August 24, 2007.
  3. ^ howies mixes fun with ecology, Financial Times, 2006-03-10 Accessed on August 29, 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Feature.003 HOWIES" Archived 2007-08-24 at the Wayback Machine, "STEAL-LIFE", January 2005. Accessed on August 23, 2007.
  5. ^ a b howies Interview Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine, Issue 18, Singletrack Magazine, 2004-12-15. Accessed on August 23, 2007.
  6. ^ "howies - now more than just an escape route, Llwybro-Routes, Welsh Assembly Government's Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
  7. ^ a b Timberland buys 'green' company Archived 2019-10-08 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News Online, 2007-02-13 Accessed on August 24, 2007.
  8. ^ a b howies, Our History Archived 2007-08-28 at the Wayback Machine, Accessed on August 23, 2007.
  9. ^ David v Goliath battle as Welsh jeans company tells Levi's to butt out Archived 2016-03-07 at the Wayback Machine, 2003-05-03
  10. ^ Timberland buys howies, Inteletex Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine, 2006-12-05 Accessed on August 24, 2007.
  11. ^ Stores must up their game to beat recession Archived 2011-06-12 at the Wayback Machine, 2008-11-03.
  12. ^ @davidhieatt (17 September 2009). "Glad do lectures is done now. Gives me time to have a think about what I will do after I leave howies at end of Oct" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ howies – a small independent, ethically minded store forced to close London Store Archived 2012-10-27 at the Wayback Machine, 2011-12-17.
  14. ^ "On Our Own Two Feet" a howies blog post Archived 2012-01-08 at the Wayback Machine, 2012-01-06.

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