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Our Core Classics are more than meets the eye…

Our Core Classics are more than meets the eye...

Written by Clare Elson

It’s often easy to assume that our customers know exactly what they want in a Healthy Back Bag and that when we talk about our core range, our Textured Nylon and Microfibre bags pop up at the top of any list.

Of course, many of our HBB’ers are avid fans with some of you the proud owners of multiple bags making our job very easy however it’s an assumption that we try not to make and especially for our newer customers, working out which of the 300+ bags we offer can sometimes be rather overwhelming. We thought it would be useful to offer up some insider info on these two best-selling ranges.

So what exactly is our core range?

Our Textured Nylon and Microfibre bags have been with us since year dot…well almost. Introduced in 1996 just a couple of years after the original leather HBB was launched, Textured Nylon and Microfibre versions of the bags were a welcome addition to the range.

Not only did it mean cheaper options for our customers but they opened up a whole palette of colour possibilities and meant that it wasn’t all about leather. Textured Nylon has a slightly more casual look, Microfibre has a sleeker finish. They quickly became best-sellers and since then, they are always at the core of our range. Always in stock, always plenty of colours to choose from and always popular.

What’s the difference between the two fabrics?

Textured Nylon is tough. Hardwearing, hardworking, water-resistant and machine washable, these bags can withstand the toughest of treatments. Take them travelling, take them camping, take them to the beach, throw them around a bit, they’re pretty indestructible. That’s why we make our Big and Baby Bags out of Textured Nylon.

Banner Update April copy

Textured Nylon Fig Large Baglett

They’re lightweight too. With our standard Small size weighing in at just 354g, it makes them some of the lightest bags we sell. The fabric is slightly pebbled, hence the ‘Textured’ bit of the name and this gives the colour a gentle tumbled effect which in our view makes them perfect for a casual everyday look.

Our Microfibre bags are also ultra-strong. Though don’t be fooled by their sophisticated good looks. Made from hundreds of thousands of the finest of fibres, these bags are built to withstand some tough love, they’re easily cleaned and water-repellent and incredibly soft to the touch. The fibres also mean that colour saturates the material bringing a richness of tone and density of colour difficult to achieve in other fabrics. This is why our customers love the slightly smarter look and feel of Microfibre for work or going out. And weighing in at 425g also means they are lightweight – great for your back and shoulders all round!


Microfibre Dove Grey Small


Microfibre Neo Mint


Textured Nylon Sage Small

How do we keep them up to date?

Twice a year we carefully plan colour updates to these two ranges which reflect latest trends. Based on research which starts 18 months before each of our two seasonal collections drop, we add new colours to the line ups. We are careful to introduce colours which first and foremost our customers want, colours which are current and trend-led which at the same time complement our existing ranges. Our Textured Nylon and Microfibre ranges therefore will always give you an extensive colour choice across a wide range of sizes.


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The Inside Story


Written by Clare Elson

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside a Healthy Back Bag?

It’s not just a bag with a silver lining… behind that iconic teardrop shape Healthy Back Bags contain a wealth of cleverly designed pocketing inside and out.

Most of us are familiar with the external pockets, after all, it’s what we see in the images on the website or what we test out when the bags are hanging in a shop. And who doesn’t love a perfectly sized spine pocket for a water bottle, or the satisfying click of the magnetic flap pocket as you slip your phone safely out of harms reach?

It’s the inside story however which reveals a few surprises.


Firstly, there’s the secure tech pocket. Tucked seamlessly between the main zip and the bag lining, the pocket is easily identified by its red zipper pull. Open it and a full sized, padded pocket is revealed ready to secrete away all manner of gadgets, valuables or travel documents.

Next up is the key hook. This is an all-time favourite of HBB’ers. Never again will you lose your keys which can be detached with a flick of the hand although at a stretch, if you’re feeling really lazy, the elastic attachment means you don’t even have to remove them at all to open the front door.



A plethora of pen pockets are useful for nail files too, while two additional pockets, one zipped, one open, serve as ideal storage for headphones, make up, tissues, travel cards and even face mask and hand sanitiser in these Corona-times.

The interior angled pockets mean that you can simply slide your hand in and grab contents without having to take the bag off and then there’s the D-Ring. Sometimes for clipping a coin purse to, sometimes spare keys or maybe just a lucky charm… because we love a D-Ring.


The big secret though? As if by magic, using all these pockets to keep your stuff organised, safe and secure, the bag becomes better balanced. They are cleverly designed to distribute the weight around the bag making it feel lighter across the back, it doesn’t drag on the shoulder and it leaves you free to get on with the more important things in life. G&T anyone?


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HBB and the Pantone Colour of the Year 2019

pantone colour of the year 2019

HBB and the Pantone Colour of the Year 2019

PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral

“An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.”

The Pantone colour of the year for 2019 is a vibrant, yet mellow hue. Somewhere between orange and pink it is a warm nourishing colour that provides an element of comfort in our rapidly changing environment.

It is a”‘reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life,” Pantone say.

Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.

Pantone Colour of the Year - Living Coral

“Representing the fusion of modern life, Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.
PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral emits the desired, familiar, and energizing aspects of color found in nature. In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind.”

Pantone Living Coral in Fashion

Coral colours have been hitting the runways over the last few months. It’s a vibrant spring like colour which captures the eye. Appearing both in our natural surroundings as well as displaying a lively presence in social media.

PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral in its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind. Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem. Bringing to the forefront of attention the delicate balance our ecosystem is held in and the dramatic impact humans are having on the planet.

HBBs and Pantone with our colourful classics

Last year we released a number of bags that connected with the Pantone colour of the year Ultra-Violet – from our seasonal bag Garden Party which played with spectrum of violet colours mixing them playfully with summer vibes and trendy floral prints. As well as adding Grape to our core range.

This year we are right on trend with our Geranium bag in Textured Nylon.

Our Textured Nylon bags do it all, with practicality and panache. Geranium is delicate and warm, perfect for matching to your outfit on bright sunny days and taking you on through to evening cocktails.

See all the previous Pantone of the year here.

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Perfect Travel Companions with HBB & Hippychick

hippychick travel pillow

Perfect Travel Companions with HBB & Hippychick

Hippychick Giveaway

Our bags are all about balance, and we aren’t just talking about the ergonomic design. Nor are we talking about the health benefits. Our bags are for every occasion. They perfectly combine playful designs with practicality. Whether you are going to the beach or heading to the office, our bags are ready for the occasion.

Part of our identity as a brand then, is all about helping our customers find that perfect life balance. And getting the very best products to you to help them live their best life.

Which is why we routinely team up with some of our favourite brands (as i’m sure you know by now) and organise incredible giveaways and competitions.

Our next giveaway is no different!

We’ve teamed up with Hippychick to give away four of their awesome travel pillows! Scroll down to find out how to enter.

hippychick travel pillow

The Hippychick memory foam travel pillow. Perfect for busy people on the go

The Travel Pillow – What is it?

The product that you never knew you needed – but can’t live without!

The Hippychick Waterproof Memory Foam Travel Pillow is the perfect pillow for parents on the go that need a little extra support.

It is extremely ergonomic and adapts to the contours of your neck, head and back allowing you to sit or lie in complete comfort. It relieves pressure, relaxes neck and shoulder muscles and perfectly supports the back.

When you’re ready to put the pillow away, simply roll it up and tuck away in the handy travel bag.


  • 44cm x 25cm when out of the case.
  • 30.5cm x 19cm when packed away,
  • The Tencel pillow cover is a naturally hygienic fibre made from 100% biodegradable wood pulp cellulose.
  • 100% waterproof case.
  • The top quality memory foam filling.

Who are Hippy Chick?

In 1999, at a kitchen table in Somerset, Hippychick was born. It was Julia Minchin’s table and it was her first product – the innovative back-saving Hipseat – that got everything started.

As a mother of three, Julia knows only too well about carrying babies and the resulting aching back. The Hipseat solved the problem and it continues to be one of their bestsellers.

Their range of incredible products has grown since that day (and continues to do so), each one carefully considered and highly functional.

Find out more about Hippy Chick here.

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SS19: The HBB Spring Summer '19 Collection

Quite excitingly, we have now launched our SS19 range which has been in development for over a year!

When it comes to our bags, we believe in being ahead of the game. That’s why we’re already making final decisions about our AW19 collection. But more on that at a later date.

With our newest range of bags we aim to neatly integrate our interpretation of some of this seasons top trends with our new branding to really emphasise the versatility, functionality and fashionability of HBBs.

Painted Desert

Imagine the sun-baked desert and gorgeous sunsets of the American Southwest.

This seasonal theme focuses on paired back colours that reflect an earthy natural element leading us on a nomadic journey through sunbaked terrain.



Made from 100% cotton fabric, Mojave adds a joyful boho twist to the range and provides inspirational merchandising options.



A sunset inspired golden linen slub effect fabric with antiqued silver hardware.


A casual nod to 70’s vintage. Go back in time and cast our minds to the sweet pastel colours that dominated that era. A sort of toned down 60’s.

This is matched with some interesting fabrics to create a modern playful interpretation of some of the most popular styles of the time, and encourages us to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

Retro Check

Here we took two stylish retro prints and reworked them with fresh colours and modern interpretations, reinventing them for our SS19 collection.

Gecko & Algorithm

More subtle than Mojave or Retro Check these contemporary prints and a funky twist with classical elegance to this season’s range.


As you can probably guess, this is all about quality over quantity. Clean, stark-coloured designs with a curious techy influence that takes on the form of digitally inspired geometric patterns.

This theme is all about a pared down point of view combining an entrepreneurial spirit with streamlined aesthetics.

Flower Power


A favourite from last season, Flower Power returns. Fun, playful and casual, reflecting this season’s emphasis on a love of nature and colour.

Leopard Luxe


This modern take on leopard print is right on trend and adds a dash of eye-catching glamour to the season.

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Spring Cleaning

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Pantone Colour of the Year 2022

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Espresso Coffee on the Go: Win a Minipresso!

Enjoying Coffee on the Go! Win a Minipresso


Our best creative moments are often infused with the sultry scents of roasted espresso beans drifting lazily through our morning meetings.

Coffee creation is an art form, and we’ve tried everything from Vietnamese drip coffee, Italian percolators, and even Turkish coffee in a Cezve. Thats right, at HBB we go the full mile.

If you’re an Espresso fan though, you’ve probably got an espresso maker of some description in your kitchen. But what do you do when you go out hiking, camping, on business trips, or even just on holiday?

Well we have discovered the perfect way to prepare your coffee on the go. The minipresso (which fits snugly into our bags spine pocket) is the perfect companion to make sure you have perfect espresso wherever you go.

INTRODUCING The Minipresso: A small handheld device that you can slot easily into your HBB and make great espresso wherever you go.

wacaco minipresso 3

About Wacaco

Founded by Hugo Cailleton in 2013, Wacaco is a startup company based in Hong Kong.

The idea for a portable espresso machine crossed his mind one morning during a business trip after having been disappointed once again by the poor coffee on offer in his hotel.

Accustomed to enjoy great shots day after day, he searched the market for an answer and finding nothing that satisfied his demanding coffee expectations decided to set his creative spirit free and develop something that would perform like a kitchen machine, meaning he would never have to drink hotel room coffee sachets again.

With an innovative and durable design the Minipresso is the perfect solution to preparing fantastic coffee on the go.


Enter our competition using the form below for your chance to win one of four bags and DRINK YOUR ESPRESSO ON THE GO!

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Vintage Canvas is Back!

Vintage Canvas


Our vintage canvas s back by popular demand. It’s been years in the (re)making and it remains one of our all time favourites.

There’s never been another bag quite like it and we couldn’t resist. The feedback was astounding, and it sold out so quickly it almost didn’t touch the shelves! Now, after many years of waiting, it’s back. Some of you may be wondering what the fuss is all about? Well, settle downa and let us tell you all about the Vintage Canvas HBB


Vintage Canvas: What’s it all about?

Vintage Canvas is a tough and durable cotton canvas/poly blend. Best of all is the finish; a synthetic coating which gives it a weathered waxy look that’s highly weatherproof finished.

The finish of these bags means that as you wear it it will gain additional character and become entirely unique to you.
Lightweight, hard-wearing and water resistant… what’s not to love?

It is a bag that is quite emphatically the epitome of our brand identity… and if that doesn’t clear it up for you, then just know it has all the qualities that we strive for at HBB.

Beautifully Balanced.

Perfect for the office or adventures in the great outdoors, it’s a bag that just keeps giving. It would look equally at home on a lawyer or a park ranger. It has the carefully considered pocketing paired with our iconic design making it fastidiously functional and stylishly suave. It would make a great alternative to a leather bag, or even an active traveler!

My own Vintage Canvas bag has accompanied me all around the world for the past 7 years and there’s still life in it yet. I honestly would never travel without it. From the Sud de France to the U S of A. Excuse me one moment whilst I reminisce about the good times we’ve had and share some holiday snaps…

Here’s a few shots of us together last year in Sequoia National Forest, California.

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Our Favourite Healthy Christmas Dishes

healthy christmas with HBB

Our Favourite Healthy Christmas Dishes


When it comes to attempting a healthy Christmas, one of the first things that leaps to mind is the food. The vast quantities of roast chicken (I’ve never been much of a turkey person), vegetables, potatoes, and of course the mince pies, chocolate, and mulled wine.

What excites me the most, and drags me out of my deep slumber, is the thought of freshly prepared hors d’oeuvres, the bubbling Mimosas, and the smell of a slowly soaking Christmas pudding. It’s not, and I’m being honest, the presents.

However, all this eating and drinking leaves one feeling a little bit guilty by the end of it all. We enter the new year with our trousers a little tighter. So, we thought it might be an idea to ask our staff for their favourite healthy Christmas foods!


KAREN’S Savoury Treats

“I make my own soups full of goodness and 100% vegetarian ! My very favourite though is Butternut Squash Soup.”


  • 1 large butternut squash cubed
  • 1 large onion finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Turmeric
  • Fresh ginger
  • Vegetable stock cube
  • Chilli powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chives


  1. Place the squash, onion, and garlic into a large stock pot, cover with hot vegetable stock, add a pinch of tumeric, and chilli powder to taste.
  2. Grate in some fresh ginger and add salt and pepper.
  3. Leave to simmer for around 30 mins, then blitz with a blender.
  4. Garnish with chives.


“Okay, so sausages…” Dan is a long time fan of sausages and pies for almost any occasion so it’s unsurprising that his input here is a delicious “healthy christmas” sausage tart.


  • 100g reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 220g plain flour
  • 170g whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 220g turkey sausage
  • 4 to 5 mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 small stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 slice whole-wheat bread, crumbed
  • A handful of dried fruit
  • 1 stalk of rosemary, finely chopped
  • ½ cup water


  1. Preheat oven to around 190c and butter your cupcake tray
  2. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with 1 egg and oil until well combined. Add the all-purpose and pastry flour. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Sautee mushrooms, onion and celery in oil until softened. Add sausage meat and cook until browned. Add the bread crumbs, dried fruit, and rosemary. Whisk the remaining 1 egg and water in a small bowl. Drizzle over the sausage mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Divide the dough into 24 balls. Press each ball evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a muffin cup. Spoon the sausage mixture evenly into the dough cups.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.


Priscilla is a baker at heart, her birthday brownies are longingly looked forward to every year! This recipe though is christmas themed and healthy(ish).


  • 250g plain flour
  • 170 whole wheat flour
  • 230g brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 110g vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 medium carrots, grated
  • Canned pineapple, drained (you could add dried fruit here if you wanted)


  1. Line your muffin tray. And Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Stir the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl lightly whisk the egg, then whisk in the vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
  3. Quickly and lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula. Stir in the carrots and pineapple until moist; the batter should be very thick. Divide the batter evenly in the tray cups.
  4. Bake about 30 minutes.


“My favourite skinny Christmas Dessert: Rosé wine Poached Pears with a dollop of half fat crème fraîche.”


  • 3 medium ripe pears
  • 350g sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Rosé Wine (your selection)
  • Vanilla Extract


  1. Peel the pears, and cut them in half (removing the cores)
  2. Over a medium heat, combine the sugar, water, wine and vanilla bean in a saucepan, stirring while you bring it to the boil.
  3. Add the pears to the saucepan ensuring that they are all covered.
  4. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer until the pears are soft.
  5. Serve the pears with a dollop of half fat crème fraîche.

What’s your favourite healthy Christmas dish for the festive season? Let us know on our Facebook page!

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Christmas Traditions: 7 Strange and Wonderful traditions from around the World

christmas traditions

Christmas Traditions: 7 Strange and Wonderful traditions from around the World


Christmas is right around the corner. And there are more than a few chirstmas traditions that people partake in every year, from newer ones like Santa-Con where thousands of people dress up like Santa, to more ancient ones like the hanging of the mistletoe.

In England we have a few pretty obscure ones ourselves that make foreigners scratch their heads in bemusement. Our puddings for example; mince pies and our traditional brandy soaked flaming fruit cake. And let’s not forget Christmas Crackers, invented in the 1845 by Tom Smith, these are iconically British. In fact, ask an American about them and you’ll get nothing but a blank stare.

We have compiled a few of the strange and magical Christmas traditions from around the world for your pleasure.


Every year, the Saturday before Christmas, they hold The Giant Lantern Festival in San Fernando in The Philippines. This festival had fairly simple origins, with (relatively) small festival lamps being constructed of Japanese origami paper. Today though the festival is a fierce competition between the 11 participating villages as everyone tries build the best and most elaborate lantern possible.

The lanterns are today made of a variety of materials and are up to 6 metres in length! Illuminated by fairy lights and electric bulbs, these are the pinnacle of lantern creation and an incredible sight to behold. christmas traditions

Find out more about The Giant Lantern Festival (Ligligan Parul Sampernandu)

Image Credit: Ramon FVelasque, "Ligligan Parul" Giant Lantern Festival, CC by SA 3.0


Before Christianity the Danes celebrated jól on the 25th of December, the celebration of brighter days Today, homes are decorated with superstitious characters called Nisse who are believed to provide protection. On the evening of December 24, Danish families place their Christmas tree in the middle of the room and dance around it while singing carols.


Like The Giant Lantern festival tradition in the Philippines this grew out of a seemingly innocent tradition of people placing candles and lanterns in their windows, balconies and front gardens. It has however grown, and now entire towns and cities across the countries are lit up with fantastical displays that are glorious to behold.

Some of the best are found in Quimbaya, where neighbourhoods compete to see who can create the most impressive arrangement.


Okay this is probably the winner of best christmas traditions. This one made us do a double take when we found references on the internet for this. We are talking about the Yule Goat (of course…)

This is a fairly recent local tradition, sadly contained to a single village. We feel the world would be better off with more Yule Goats. Since 1966, a 13 metre tall Goat has been constructed in the centre of the Gävle’s Castle Square for the Advent.

Obviously though, the Swedes, not happy to simply have their giant goat flaunting its horns in the square developed another ‘tradition’ of sorts. The burning down of the Yule Goat! Masked and under the cover of night groups attempt to set fire to the giant goat and they have succeeded 29 times in the last 52 years.

If you want to see how the Goat fares this year when it goes up on December 1st, you can follow its progress on the Gävle website through a live video stream.


We all know the story of Krampus, right? The evil accomplice to bonny St. Nick. The beast like demon creature (probably just masked men…) roams the city streets with the sole purpose it would seem of frightening children.

In Austrian tradition, St. Nicholas rewards nice little boys and girls, while Krampus is said to capture the naughtiest children and whisk them away in his sack. In the first week of December, young men dress up as the Krampus (especially on the eve of St. Nicholas Day) frightening children with clattering chains and bells.


Scandinavia seems to have the best christmas traditions so far. There are a couple of odd Icelandic traditions that we thought worth mentioning. The Yule Lads, and the Yule Cat.

Let’s start with the Lads. During the 13 days leading up to Christmas, these 13 mischievous naughty troll-like creatures come out to play. Girls and Boys leave their best pair of shoes by the window and each day a different lad visits leaving a gift for nice children and an old rotting potato for the less nice ones…

Clad in traditional Icelandic costume, these fellas are pretty mischievous, and their names hint at the type of trouble they like to cause: Stekkjastaur (Sheep-Cote Clod), Giljagaur (Gully Gawk), Stúfur (Stubby), Þvörusleikir (Spoon-Licker), Pottaskefill (Pot-Scraper), Askasleikir (Bowl-Licker), Hurðaskellir (Door-Slammer), Skyrgámur (Skyr-Gobbler), Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage-Swiper), Gluggagægir (Window-Peeper), Gáttaþefur (Doorway-Sniffer), Ketkrókur (Meat-Hook) and Kertasníkir (Candle-Stealer).

The Yule Cat is another weird festive tradition. It is said that a giant cat roams the countryside at Christmas time. Those that don’t work hard will be devoured by this cat, who clearly dislikes lazy people. But those that do work hard will be rewarded by the farmer with a new set of clothes. Whilst the cat isn’t such a popular tradition any more, it is still customary to get a new set of clothes for Christmas.


Dating back centuries a tradition in Norway is to hide one’s broom. It is believed that witches and evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride. And we think that the lack of witches in Norway today proves just how effective this tactic has been. To this day many people still hide their brooms at Christmas time.


Final thoughts

There are marvelous and magical traditions all around the globe, some seem strange or antiquated, whilst others are beautiful expressions of creativity, art and the spirit of love. Through all these places though, whether they share religion, history or not, there is one Christmas Tradition that is nearly universal, the giving of gifts.


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Catherine Tough

Based in East London, Catherine Tough designs and makes cosy knitted accessories for you & your home.  Made from the softest lambswool and finest cotton yarns, in a beautiful range of colour combinations and exciting patterns, Catherine’s collection will keep you in comfort and style all year round.  Products include expertly knitted socks, cosy gloves, hats & scarves, stylish home accessories and charming lavender filled creature creations for all the family.

Catherine Tough: ORIGINS

Catherine Tough graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1999.
Inspired by nature, travel and colour, she and her team continue to make products to cherish.

Now they are one of the UK’s leading designer-makers; their products are found in many of the finest stores around the UK and the rest of the World. Their lovely patterned socks, woollen hats and scarves, lavender door stops, cushions and throws are widely coveted, and they’re expanding their range all the time.

Catherine’s passion for textiles began when she was still at school, inspired by her mum’s knitting skills (there was often a fleece in the lounge, a spinning wheel and lots of projects on the go) and, as a child of the 80’s, religiously watching The Clothes Show.  She went on to study textiles at the Royal College of Art where she developed her signature style of bold, playful designs using beautiful materials.

Catherine and her dedicated team handcraft beautiful quality products for you and your home from the finest natural materials. By fusing traditional craft practices with contemporary, elegant design, they lovingly create pieces that you’ll treasure.