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The Great Welsh Outdoors: 10 companies you should know about

23 Jun, 2023

Wales is a nation packed-full of natural beauty. Mighty mountains, award-winning beaches, world-class coastlines it’s easy to see why so many entrepreneurs have chosen to set up shop in Wales, and for the Welsh-born entrepreneurs, we’re sure they’ve taken inspiration from their homeland. As it’s #GreatOutdoorsMonth we wanted to shine a light on some of our favourite Wales-based or Welsh-founded companies that were made to help people enjoy the great outdoors. Tell us your favourites in the comments below…

Gelert

Founded in 1975 by Alastair and Jane Langdon, in the North Walean town of Beddgelert. The name found inspiration from the Welsh legend of Prince Llewellyn and his loyal hound - Gelert. Today it’s a global brand with over over 100 million products worldwide including: sleeping bags, camping equipment and rucksacks. In 2013, the company was acquired by retail giant Sports Direct and since then the brand has expanded its offering to products such as clothing, footwear and outdoor furniture.

Shop online at Gelert or find their range in Sports Direct online and instore.

Conwy Kayak

Created by kayak enthusiasts from North Wales, Conwy Kayak aims to provide quality kayaks, paddleboards and accessories which can withstand harsh conditions. With many years of experience in the kayak and SUP industry, the organisation offers advice and guidance on general safety and maintenance to improve the lifespan of their products. 

Are you ready to get on the water? Shop online at Conwy Kayaks >>

Atherton Bikes

Based in Machynlleth in mid-Wales, Atherton Bikes was founded over 15 years ago by professional racers and siblings: Dan, Gee and Rachel. Atherton bikes have created successful partnerships with Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Piers Linney and world-renowned suspension designer Dave Weagle. As a brand focussed on providing quality bikes for beginners to World Cup racers, Atherton offer 10 tailored bike options and other biking gear including clothing and general hardware accessories. 

If you’re a keen cyclist or racer, check out Atherton Bikes >>

Mountain Warehouse

Founded by Welshman Mark Neale in 1997, Mountain Warehouse is a familiar face in the UK high street. HQ’d in London, it has over 250 stores in the UK and over 300 stores worldwide, including the USA, Canada and New Zealand. The brand develops its own range of outdoor apparel and equipment for adventure lovers. People, products and the planet are central to the brand's philosophy.

Explore their range online at Mountain Warehouse >>

Acai Outdoorwear

Based in Flintshire, North Wales, Acai was founded in 2016 by husband and wife team Joe and Kasia Bromley. The company is on a mission to revolutionise women’s outdoor experiences and to create sustainable and stylish outdoor clothes for women. Inspired from working at high-fashion powerhouse Alexander McQueen, founder Kasia wants to continue making attractive pieces which empower women and help encourage them to embrace the outdoors for their mental and physical health.

Want something sustainable and stylish? Take a look at Acai’s clothing range >>

DMM Wales

DMM Wales was born in 1986 and today is based in Llanberis. Today the company is one of the world leaders in recreational climbing and mountaineering equipment. DMM has a loyal and experienced team with a wealth of knowledge and continues to invest in the development of innovative and unique products for customers all across the globe. With stockists from the UK to Taiwan.

Take a look at their informative climbing articles and shop online >>

Frog Bikes

Inspired by a challenging hunt for suitable bikes for their own children, husband and wife team Jerry and Shelley Lawson founded Frog Bikes in 2013. Today they are building children’s bikes for customers around the world from their Pontypool facility. Working with Brunel University and renowned engineer Dimitris Katsanis, Frog Bikes’ unique approach is to create bikes catered specifically to children’s measurements. The founders are passionate about fostering a generation of active, healthy and happy children, supporting the planet and making cycling more accessible.

Find out more and shop the full Frog range >>

Howies

Howies was founded in 1995 Carmarthenshire by husband and wife team, Clare and David Hieatt (check out Hiut Denim and The DO Lectures). The name "Howies" is derived from Clare's maiden name of "Howells". In 2011 the company was sold to The Timberland Company but then bought back by the management in 2012. Howies puts people and planet above profits and strives to produce high-quality, lower impact clothing for the outdoors. With sustainability being central to their ethos, Howies products are made using organic, recycled or natural fabric whenever possible. In 2019, the company removed all single use plastic from their packaging and introduced their compostable packaging made from cornstarch in 2022. 

If organic is your bag, check out Howies selection of clothing >>

Jöttnar

Based in the Welsh Capital, Norway-born clothing brand Jöttnar is used by professional athletes and military units to test the clothes durability. Founded by two ex-Royal Marine Commandos, Tommy Kelly and Steve Howarth, Jöttnar is a brand for climbers, skiers and adventurers and has been used in some of the world’s harshest climates by their own Pro Team athletes. 

Looking for a hardy adventure? Shop Jöttnar now >>

Dryad

Based in Abergavenny, Wales, Dryad was founded in 2019 as an outdoor sportswear company for women. After recognising the inequality between genders in the sporting industry and the issue of fast fashion, Dryad’s founder Matt Thomas chose to create a sustainable clothing brand that gave equal opportunities to women in all levels of sport. With a background in sustainability, creating an ethical and sustainable brand was key to Matt’s mission so Dryad partnered with sustainable clothing manufacturers Petratex and SSEAMS, to create quality products while maintaining a low environmental and social impact. 

Read their checkpoints blog or shop Dryad’s sustainable range >> 

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