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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

#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.

Pedal for Pizza

  • Posted by ruben
  • 5 June 2013

Categories:

Pedal for Pizza

This weekend we will be in Feltre, Italy, for our third annual appearance at the Castelli 24 hour criterium. Starting at 10pm on Friday, our team of 10 will be racing alongside 90 other teams made up of over 1,000 riders of every level, from professionals to costumed have-a-go-heros.

We have trained in the Welsh hills, we will race on the Italian cobbles. Our aim isn't to win but to beat our best score & complete at least 456 laps in the 24 hours, to have the most fun we can and to enjoy the best of Italian pizza and espresso.

Keep an eye on our Twitter and Instagram feeds this weekend for updates from the event.

Spring Photoshoot Slideshow

  • Posted by alex
  • 13 May 2013

When we needed pictures of the new bike and run range in action, Hazel, Ade
and Alex booked into the Pwll Deri YHA in the untouched corner of Cardigan
Bay on Strumble Head.

We arrived in the dark, so it wasn't until sunrise that the full beauty of
our location unfolded.

To model the kit we recruited some active local friends. Sam and Phil who
are runners, riders and Lifeguards on our beaches, Josh who we ride mountain
bikes with and Laura who cooked all the food for our Rest Less ride.

5am starts, creaky bunk beds, breakfast overlooking the sea, beautiful
light, dusty coast paths, rocky headlands, a lighthouse, burning gorse, the
Presili mountains, winding back roads, 150 year old woods, wheelies, good
food eaten together and photo's showing the beauty of where we work.
Our photo shoots are work, but they really don't feel like work.

This slideshow is a selection of shots from the photo shoot.

Photgraphed and compiled by Ricky Adam
Music by The Redneck Manifesto

The Dyfi Jacket - Simple Works

  • Posted by alex
  • 10 May 2013
The Dyfi Jacket - our lightweight, windproof active shell for cycling or running.

howies-Dyfi-Jacket-MTB-Push-Main

Complicated isn’t clever.
Complicated is just trickery... Smoke and mirrors to fool your eyes.
Bells and whistles to distract you.
Good design isn't about adding more.
Good design is about simplicity.
Every feature has a reason for being.
If it doesn’t need to be there, take it off.

This is our new Dyfi Jacket. It's a lightweight, windproof active shell for cycling or running.
With recycled polyester ripstop body and breathable, four-way stretch arm panels.
Reflective accents on the cuffs and tail keep you visible when it gets dark and a fleece
lined collar keeps out draughts. It's adjustable at the waist and has a zipped chest pocket
that the jacket packs away into.

And it's £39.

Like we always say, simple works.

howies-Dyfi-Fire-MTB-2

Hazel and Josh chasing each other at 6am on our photoshoot at Strumble Head.

howies-Dyfi-Jacket-MTB-Lighthouse

howies-Dyfi-Jacket-MTB-Push-Uphill

howies-Dyfi-Jacket-Cliffs-Sea

howies-Dyfi-Blue-Run-2

Local marathon runners (and lifeguards on our local beaches) Sam and Phil raced up this headland opposite our Youth Hostel at 5.30am over and over again.

howies-Dyfi-Jacket-Clifftop-Runners

howies-Dyfi-Jacket-Headland

Plastic Bags?

  • Posted by ruben
  • 15 March 2013

To minimise our environmental impact, we try to use as little packaging as possible – we only bag stuff when we really need to.

So if you've been a customer of ours for a while, you may have noticed we’ve changed the material our bags are made of. They used to be paper, but now they're plastic.

We’ve switched to recyclable plastic as it is the most widely recycled material available in the UK at this time. They have less environmental impact than paper bags because they weigh less, take up less storage space and use less energy.

Likewise, we've found that recyclable plastic has less environmental impact than degradable plastic. This is because degradable plastic bags cannot be recycled or composted properly in the UK, so they end up as landfill. They leave small traces of plastic in the soil that never break down. They are also known to create more greenhouse gasses than conventional plastics and paper.

The change has had a big effect and more than halved the annual CO2 footprint of our packaging.

We don't pretend that recyclable plastic is perfect. But right now, it is the lowest impact way of packaging our stuff.

Click here to download the geeky analysis report from carbon footprint experts Tickety Boo.

Ventile. Wear it out.

  • Posted by alex
  • 1 March 2013

It’s a good thing we’ve got Ventile. It’s perfect for our climate.

  • Airman Ventile jacket
  • Earhart Ventile jacket

There are lots of words to describe British weather, but ‘predictable’ isn’t one of them.

So it’s a good thing we’ve got Ventile. It’s perfect for our climate. Made with 100% cotton, so tightly woven it doesn’t need any extra chemical finishes to protect you from rain, sleet, wind and snow. During a downpour, the fibres swell and the holes in the weave close up and water just beads off.

Also, when the sun does finally come out, because it’s just cotton, Ventile also breathes really well – unlike other water-resistant fabrics, which can leave you all clammy as soon as the weather cheers up.

Ventile cotton has been around a while too – it was invented in the 1940s, for pilots’ flying suits. It’s really long-lasting stuff, meaning no matter what you throw at it, this jacket should last you 10 or 15 years. Maybe 20. Even if you snag it on something, a needle and thread can easily repair it.

So whatever you or the weather get up to, Ventile can take it. Today, tomorrow and for a long time to come.

Mens Airman Ventile jackets | Womens Earhart Ventile jacket

A Line in the Sand

  • Posted by pete
  • 28 February 2013

"Tomorrow feels like it will be a day where we continue to design and make the best product we can in the most considerate way, for the sports we do."

When we think of all the yesterdays howies has had (6,452 of them, to be exact) there’s a lot to be proud of. We’ve helped build a great brand, made some amazing product, produced all those incredible catalogues and we’ve made people think… all in a low impact way and all from this little corner of Cardigan Bay.

But we can’t just live in the past. So today, as I write this, Spring has come around again and it feels like those seventeen years have passed pretty quickly. We’ve bought our brand back off Timberland and we are at a point where we are in control again. We decide which direction we go and what defines us. Today is the day that the first of the products designed by Hazel and myself are starting to arrive. They look as good as they did in my head and that’s pretty exciting.

That leads us to think about our tomorrows and what we want to do with them. Tomorrow feels like it will be a day where we continue to design and make the best product we can in the most considerate way, for the sports we do.

Tomorrow is a day when we don’t let our little company get too big. A day where we continue to operate in Wales and we give shares to the people who work here. Tomorrow is a day to carry on making people think, to inspire them to get off the sofa and go outside, to run, to ride and to always make tea in a pot.

And, of course, to make the most of all their tomorrows.

Pete Davies
Head of Creative

Use your loaf

  • Posted by ade
  • 21 February 2013

It’s annoying isn’t it? You pop out for a loaf of bread and it’s suddenly gone up to £1.50. Wasn’t it a £1 or something not so long ago? Oh well, toast and tea beckon. You stump up the cash and head home.

Not so easy in Kenya where poor families are being affected by the same huge price rises and the choice isn’t between granary or farmhouse white, but between breakfast or sending the kids to school.

So what’s going on? We keep hearing about bad weather and the impact it has on poor harvests, which translates into food shortages. What we don’t hear about so much are the dodgy deals that are pushing up food prices.

Since 2010 more than 44 million people have been driven into extreme poverty by the rising cost of food. At the same time, banks and financial investors are, quite literally making a killing by betting on food prices. The World Development Movement (WDM) estimates that Barclays makes up to £340 million each year through unregulated speculation in food markets, as people starve.

That’s the bad news. The good news is it’s easy to do something.

If you want to make change, legislation is going through the EU right now that can effectively control this greed. Go to http://www.wdm.org.uk/food-speculation for more information on food speculation and to lend them your voice.

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