This business came to life In Bangalow, N.S,W Australia in 1985, when two travellers, Lin and Nick Hooper created BOGART, drawing “all-over designs”, making the screens then hand screen printing water based paints on to T shirts.
Having had several partnerships, and having become, in turn, “Jungle Party”, “Hands On Design and Print” with Andy Kinnear and now “Nick Hooper Design”, the business has been producing original, handmade T-prints for our freethinking customers for thirty five years.
We now find ourselves printing from the garden workshop in the port-city of Southampton, UK.
Pretty much everything we make ourselves by hand, with input from the whole family. The unique images begin as artwork, drawn by Nick and our daughter Katy, inspired by art from around the world, nature and adaptations of indigenous patterns.
In a home-made dark room the designs are exposed to the light and then transposed onto hand-made wooden silk screens.
Nick then prints each garment by hand onto natural materials using a carefully selected blend of eco-friendly inks, also hand tie-dying some designs beforehand to give an additional far-out visual effect.
Nick printing in his workshop. After each print run Nick washes out the screens ready for the next colour blend. This way our unique designs are looked after for many years.
You won’t find our clothing in department stores or shopping centres, but more-likely under an oak tree ,down a cobbled high street, in a field, out in the open air at one of the many of the wonderful craft and music events to which we bring our festival stall. You may have discovered us at a festival in the UK or at events oversees such as WOMAD, GRAN CANARIA.
To compliment our hand-made products we also support a number of families and small businesses in Guatemala, Ecuador and Zimbabwe. The products we source directly from there are from craftspeople whose work we value, that is of the highest quality and that we can be assured is made ethically, under good working conditions.
Our Guatemalan range is all handmade and bought by us from the Lakes of Atitlan each spring. Nick first travelled there in the mid 1980s, not realising he had stepped into the middle of a very dirty civil war. Despite being robbed twice, including once by cops, he retained a very happy memory of the country, it’s lovely people and individual culture. Fifteen years later, when pulling on a favourite shirt – bought in a market there- it came to him how well made it was, how well it had lasted and that no one else was selling their lovely fabrics at the festivals. So began an annual escape to Central America where we source a stunning selection of hand-made clothing from the people who sew, weave and embroider the beautiful natural fabrics.
We also stock “ZIMBABALOOBA” clothing. Vibrant well-made clothing from near Harare, Zimbabwe.
From 1989, Zimbabalooba have been making their fantastic clothes, dyed, printed and sewn by hand in Africa. To have kept the business going through the volatility of the perpetual crises that Zimbabwe has endured over these years is nothing short of miraculous. They are most famous for the trousers (called Verts over there) which are still the mainstay of their business. Nick first met Johnny, one of the founders, about twenty years ago and we have ordered and bought their clothing since then. They are VERY well made of tough 100% cotton, hand dyed then screen printed in the most amazing blend of colours.
The products sourced from Ecuador come from an artisan, now good friend, who hand-makes products of the highest quality from her home in the northern Highlands of Ecuador. As with Guatemala and Zimbabwe, many of these people have become good friends and we hope to continue supporting their small business into the future. By supporting us you are supporting them too!
“It gives me great joy that we are friends. Thank you for the work“
Our hand printed clothing carries no Nick Hooper Design Branding. In an earlier incarnation of our business “Jungle Party”, we went down the path of branding and brand awareness. With our own labels, tags, advertising and marketing.
This brought us more sales and kudos. What it also brought was bureaucracy and less time for Art, Craft and Creativity. We have a strong aversion to “Bullshit”! When buying from our suppliers, producing our clothing, and keeping our customers satisfied we just try to do the right thing.
If you’re looking for something unique and individual you will find it here. Our original wear is coveted by people from all walks of life. So, whether you’re rock climbing, surfing, chilling out, partying or just taking the dog out; if you’re coming back for more or if this is your first time visiting us, WELCOME! We hope you find something that speaks to you.