Friday, May 29, 2009

the story of howies®

howies® is a small, but productive clothing company based out of Cardigan Bay, Wales, England. they playfully boast: "we're the third largest clothing company in Cardigan Bay."

playful often comes to mind when looking at the howies® website. i've been drawn to their sense of style, sense of play, and sense of simplicity for quite some time. i think i stumbled upon the howies sight after Jonny Baker made something from the howies® webite a worship trick years ago.

the company began back in 1995 making t shirts in their flat and then selling them out of the back of a BMX magazine. it took off from there, selling clothes designed to last. designed to be worn. designed to get dirty. they went on to make more than just t shirts...

now 14 years later, they have this to say:
The journey is by no means complete. And the journey so far has taught us some important things. Like where we want to go. And just as importantly, where we don't want to go.
The journey is the destination. sometimes we don't find the answers to life's big questions until we venture out on the journey of uncertainty. Sometimes we don't know where we want to go until we, well... go. (sounds a lot like faith, eh?)
[side notes about the connection between faith and journey: luke 9; john 4; acts 9]

although the clothes are higher priced, the company has a reason for such a price tag (as their set beliefs page says):

A higher quality product will invariably last longer. It will keep on performing as it was designed to for longer before it finally needs replacing. And so over its lifespan it will have consumed less valuable resources than an inferior product that will have been replaced many times.

That's why we make the best quality products that we know how. Because ultimately the best thing we can do for the environment is to make our stuff last a real long time.

this t-shirt runs £25 (about $40 U.S. dollars)
this video below shows 'the making of a t-shirt.' who knew a t shirt could be so exciting?

the making of a t-shirt from howies on Vimeo.

i like their home-grown, grass roots approach to things. they are trying to grow mostly from word of mouth. imagine... spreading a message that you want to be communicated to the masses, through conversations?
kind of like the Gospel, right? spreading good news, about t shirts or Jesus... probably best done via the 'word of mouth' technique.

but howies® appears to be more than just a clothing company. they are portraying an image. a way of life. maybe it's a bit cynical to think that they aren't also in it to make a buck. but i think they are on to something with the way they approach promoting not just clothes, but living.

get outside. play. make things. simplify. experience beauty.

they have a series of wallpapers that are pretty sweet. found HERE on their website.

i've never worn or owned any howies® product... probably never will... unless someday i make it over to England or decide to shell out some major coin to order one and have it shipped to the U.S. but i like how they do things.

there just might be a lesson for us all found in the way of howies® (even if they are trying to make a buck).

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