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Nowhere moments

  • Posted by ruben
  • 23 September 2013

The middle of nowhere is a funny place. Even if you visit it a million times, it's almost impossible to tell anyone else how to get there, because the middle of nowhere is as much about your state of mind as the place you're in.

If you're on the side of a mountain with no houses, planes or roads in view and your phone suddenly chirps out to let you know you got a tweet, you're not there.

If you're in the woods with only the wind in the leaves and the sound of the rain for company and you thinking about bills and TV schedules, you're not there.

The middle of nowhere means going where the roads don't, to find your space and clear your head.

And it's not always about going into the wild either, it could be much closer than you might think.

Nowhere can be a hard place to find, but you'll know it when you get there.

Farmer Friendly Jeans

  • Posted by alex
  • 6 September 2013
This denim is completely new for howies this season. But as you know, to push things forward in life, you’ve always got to keep moving...

This is our new hemp selvedge jean, The Hobo.

Hemp is renowned for being one of the most environmentally friendly and versatile crops around. It also makes a mean pair of jeans.

That's because hemp crops are sustainable and require no irrigation. So a jean like the Hobo, made from 40% hemp and 60% cotton, can save up to 2,400 litres of water when compared to a regular 100% cotton jean. That’s enough to give one person clean drinking water for two years. Gulp. In addition, hemp uses no pesticides or herbicides to grow as it is naturally antibacterial, which is great for you, the farmer and the field.

They’ve got a look we love too. The tiny white flecks of hemp fibre within the denim help give them a unique 'slubby' appearance. And adding to their natural feel, our Hobo jean has been coloured using indigo dye, which will give you a bit of the old ‘blue hands’ at first, but will age beautifully to give you a jean unlike anyone else’s.

This denim is completely new for howies this season. But as you know, to push things forward in life, you’ve always got to keep moving...

Just like a hobo.

Shop Men's Hobo Hemp Selvedge Jeans >



howies Mens Hemp Selvedge Jeans

howies Mens Hemp Selvedge Jeans

howies Hemp Selvedge Denim Jeans

Running Mont Blanc

  • Posted by ruben
  • 23 August 2013

Most of the team here at howies like to go running from time to time. None of us are incredibly fast. We're more Forrest Gump than Mo Farah. But although we all run different speeds, and different distances, we all enjoy getting out on our favourite routes.

In terms of distance, it's Chris, who runs our shop in town, who goes the furthest. With more than a few "ultra" runs under his belt, he gets more odd looks than the rest of us combined when people find out what he gets up to in his free time.

Next week, we'll be heading out to the Alps to support him in the biggest event he's ever entered, the UTMB trail race around Mont Blanc. It's a long run, with a lot of mountain passes to get through, but we're sure Chris will still be smiling as he makes the finish line.

Keep an eye on our Instagram for updates from the race next weekend.

Brilliant + Great = Perfect

  • Posted by alex
  • 9 August 2013

Our women’s Stretcher jean. Made using a brand new 'powerstretch' denim.

Powerstretch denim is the perfect mix of 75% cotton, with 22% polyester and 3% elastane, made by a brilliant denim mill in Portugal.

It took them years of trial and error, energy and effort to find the right mix. But by using the best ingredients from the start, they’ve managed to cook up a great denim.

The lightweight cotton makes them soft and comfortable and easy to wear. The polyester makes them tough and durable. And the elastane makes them stretch and move, fitting your body perfectly along the way.

It’s that quality of ingredients, as well as the time and energy and skill they’ve put into manufacturing that makes these Stretchers just about the comfiest, most shape-flattering pair of women’s jean we’ve ever made.

Proof indeed that you only ever get out exactly what you put in. True of life of course, but also true of a pair of jeans.

Shop Women's Stretcher Jeans >



howies Powerstretch Stretcher jeans

howies Powerstretch Stretcher jeans

Jeans from the Wild West (of Wales)

  • Posted by alex
  • 9 August 2013

Our new men’s Rancher jean has just arrived. And we've made using a special 'broken twill' denim.

Popularized by rodeo riders back in the 1960s, broken twill is a style of weave famous for it's unique zigzag pattern; invented to combat the twisting effect you can get with regular denim.

If you're a denim geek, you'll know that traditionally a twill is woven either to the right hand or the left hand, which can cause tension in the fabric. It's that tension which can make the outside seam of a regular jean twist around to the front or back,
after it's washed.

A broken twill weave contains no distinctive direction though. Instead, alternating right and left in an intentionally random zig-zag pattern. This texture gives the denim a more balanced construction and eliminates the twisted leg effect. It will also give your jeans a wonderfully irregular, streaky fade pattern as they age. And as a bonus, it also makes them softer than a traditional jean too.

Sounds pretty good to us. Then again, who are we to argue
with a bunch of cowboys anyway?

Shop Men's Broken Twill Rancher Jeans >



howies Broken Twill Rancher Jeans

howies Broken Twill Rancher Jeans

howies Broken Twill Rancher Jeans detail

Time To Empty Your Head ...

  • Posted by ruben
  • 26 July 2013
I’m sure that this state of mind and visual theatre could be priced beyond any gym membership, but no-one’s managed to make it an exclusive ‘members only’ club yet. This is a relief. It means that we can all join, any time, for free.

Words and illustration by Anna Koska

We're all defined by lots of things really, and writing a bio I could put a heap load of waffle down. But to keep it tight.. and truthful…

I'm an illustrator, and I'm a forest runner.

I started running in the forest for lots of obvious reasons, like health, no gym membership, and convenience (it's on my doorstep).

But it's become clear that it goes beyond the obvious.

image

Through forest running I have rediscovered something utterly amazing that I thought I’d lost forever in my old school satchel. I have become reacquainted with a desire to know, to learn, to dream big. As each foot falls on deer carved pathway, my mind begins to loosen from the ties that bind it to the usual rhythms of work/home life. And with this uncorking of my stuffed, distracted and chattering head, there appears a space. It doesn’t really seem to matter what my feet are doing, how my ankles are adjusting to rock, mud and shale, whether my quads are aching or whether I’m picking an errant gnat out of my eye. The head space remains accessible, available. So I find my mind wandering freely through new questions, new curiosities, fresh and dewy plans.

And amongst all this cerebral stuff that’s going on, my eyes are drinking in this extraordinary and ever changing theatre of the forest. The colours range for Monet to Van Gogh, depending on season and light. This light can play tricks on the lower canopy, transforming it into the biblical burning bush. Shadow can create a moving form that seems to race a pace behind me. One late Winter's afternoon, the light dipped so quickly that I became disorientated. Flicking on my head torch I suddenly became aware that I was moving parallel with silent-running deer. 14 or more sets of eyes blinked back at me. My heart leapt with the shock, and the thrill.

image copy

Running in the forest and through its seasons is perhaps the most extraordinary and innervating aspect of all. If I was just to talk about the changes of the scent and quality of the air (if I could write with a “scratch n sniff” app it would help): the dry bite of Winter's icy air sucked into lungs; the first whiff of pig manure, pulled across on a northeasterly breeze from a farmer’s field as Winter subsides; the punchy honeyed smell of warmed Spring bluebells; the damp earthiness of the freshly watered forest floor; the drying pine needles underfoot as we slip seamlessly (hopefully) into Summer.

image copy 2

I’m sure that this state of mind and visual theatre could be priced beyond any gym membership, but no-one’s managed to make it an exclusive ‘members only’ club yet. This is a relief. It means that we can all join, any time, for free.

image copy 3

You can see more of her pencilship at www.annakoskaillustration.com/ and read her tweets at @gremkoska

#microadventure - the winners

  • Posted by ruben
  • 18 July 2013

Rather than going home to a sofa in front of the TV and a comfy bed after work, last month we challenged people to head out into the great outdoors to spend a night under the stars.

Together with our friend Alastair Humphreys, we took an unusual Trip on The Tube, and then asked people to get out for their own #microadventures, with prizes for the best videos, photos and stories.

Here are the winners as selected by Mr Humphreys:

3RD PRIZE – DAN AND LEO KNAPP CAMPING OUT UNDER THE STARS

2ND PRIZE – CHRISTOPH DRESSLER’S PHOTOBLOG OF HIS MICROADVENTURE

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1ST PRIZE – STEVE COFFEY AND HIS COLLEAGUES’ OFFICE MICROADVENTURE

While the competition may be over, we still think that anyone who breaks their daily routine to go somewhere new and spend a night in a bivy bag with the sound of the sea or the wind in the trees gains something every bit as worthwhile as any prizes.

How To Become A Successful Artist

  • Posted by alex
  • 16 July 2013

Why Run?

  • Posted by ruben
  • 18 June 2013

Categories:

Why Run?

Why run?

Why tie in, to now grey shoes,
greet the flat white sky before work, after school.
Why drum the pigeon grey pavement, hay-fever dust track,
Why salt-sweat, sore ankle, mud be-spattered back.
Why go faster, go further,
when there's no-one around, why run through the still of the just waking town
and why race the cars and why not just sleep in,
if only to feel the pull in your chest of the miles you've just beaten and
Why stomp in the sun to savour the shower,
Why de-clutter your thoughts with each outdoor hour,
Why choose the challenge when you could settle for easy,
Why cool rain, cool water, Why push sore sighing limbs
down the same old roads day out and day in
just to go that little bit further than you have gone before,
just to feel a little more you
when you come back through that door.

----

This poem was sent in by howies blog follower and runner
Megan Domaille. Illustration by her friend Marjorie Newnham.

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