In the latest catalogue from the Wales-based skate/bike/BMX clothing company there’s information on what to do with the freepost envelopes that fall out of unsolicited mail: attach them to iron gates, car tyres or other heavy objects and wing them off to the sender. Oh, and there’s a nice plug for a farmer who makes butter, a plea to end intensive salmon farming, an essay on the taste of Welsh mud, and even some rather nice t-shirts…

Don’t send Howies any junkmail

Howies donates 1 percent of its turnover (or ten percent of its pre-tax profits, whichever is greater) to environmental projects. It’s a carbon-neautral company, planting enough trees each year to offset its calculated emissions as a company.

And now all its t-shirts are now made from organic cotton.

Yep, this is a company on a mission.

Despite now being based in rural Wales instead of London, it’s the same company that burst on to the skate/bike/BMX scene in 1995 and which, at Bike 96, painted the naked top halves of two shapely female models to look as though they were wearing Howies t-shirts. This caused a sensation at the show: brand recognition rocketed.

Howies – founded by Clare and David Hieatt – now produces rider’s jeans, short-sleeved shirts, courier bags as well as the £25 t-shirts with the iconic images and anti-brand brand messages.

It’s a hardcore brand that’s stocked by 15 or so bike shops in the UK. The Howies range, however, has the potential for much wider distribution and, said David Hieatt, the evidence for this is “we will sell more stuff to Japan, Australia, and Canada than we will to Britain next year. Which is weird.”

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