Notre histoire

HOALEN. Nous avons longtemps cherché et fini par trouver ce mot, à l’origine bretonne mais à la prononciation presque universelle. HOALEN veut dire « sel » en breton. Nous avons dessiné et stylisé cette algue à six branches, posée au fond de l’eau, symbole fort d’une région de ramasseurs d’algues, les goémoniers. Un nom et un logotype qui accompagnent notre aventure depuis 2006, date à laquelle nous avons lancé HOALEN en France, sur les côtes du Finistère nord. Nous nous sommes tournés spontanément vers les adultes parce que nous sommes des adultes dont les attentes à l’égard d’une marque liée à l’univers des sports de glisse ont évolué.Nous essayons donc, au travers de HOALEN, de fédérer ces adultes, pratiquants intensifs ou amateurs de sports de houle que nous appelons les « Saltwater Players » (ceux qui jouent dans l’eau salée).

Nous créons pour eux des vêtements certes fortement inspirés de l’univers sportif mais affranchis des influences éphémères de la mode, aux coupes rassurantes, simples à porter et autant que possible faiblement marqués . Nous choisissons volontairement des cotons épais que nous lavons jusqu’à obtenir des touchers très doux. Nous nous inspirons d’un univers graphique « old school » puisé dans l’histoire de ces sports en Europe , mais également sur les côtes australiennes et californiennes.

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About us

HOALEN. We searched for a long time and eventually uncovered this word, originally from the French Brittany’s dialect, but with an almost universal pronunciation. Hoalen means “sea salt” in the old Breton language. This six fingered seaweed, that we drew and designed, lying under water, is a strong symbol of the traditional culture from this region of seaweed gatherers that the French call “goémoniers”. This name and logo embodies our adventure since 2006, the date when Hoalen was born on the coast of North Finistere. We are geared towards adults because, as adults ourselves, we expect more from a surf and lifestyle environment brand than we once did as teenagers. Through Hoalen, we strive to bring these adults, professionals or amateurs of swell sports, whom we call “Saltwater Players”, together. We create for them clothing strongly inspired by the sporting world, but freed from the fleeting trappings of the fashion world, with easy to wear classic cuts and discreet branding. We choose heavy cotton garments that we wash until they get the soft hand feel we are aiming for. We are inspired by old school designs, from the beginnings of surf culture on the Australian and Californian shores.

Our clients are men and women, and we also adapt some pieces of our collection for kids. In the future we will produce locally in Brittany, but up until now we have been working closely with the same small factory in the south of India. For polyester, nylon and wool, we have developed specific partnerships in China and Bulgaria. We give priority to emulation over competition. In a universe where most of the sports brands communicate mainly through contests and professional athletes, we try to reshape the rules and adopt new codes, where values and style are more important than strict performance. This has brought to us exceptional men and women, sport icons and experienced watermen, who share a common passion for making the sea their playground and the shore their home ground, on French, Japanese, Spanish and Ecuadorian coasts. They are our ambassadors. They not only trust the brand with their image but, more importantly, accompany Hoalen along in our development.

Beyond establishing our clothing brand, we have always strived to be a key player in the development of swell sports, through the organization or sponsoring of unique sporting events. We opened our first Ocean Store in an old shipyard, on a small beach in Brittany, facing the lighthouse of l’Ile Vierge in Plouguerneau, the place where the brand was born. We also distribute Hoalen in selective multi-brand shops, most of which are on coastal areas and have a web shop, enabling people who live farther away from the beach to buy online.

Our office is located in Brittany, as is the location of our first store. Brittany, with its beauty, and strong culture of authentic sea men, is what we stand for. Saltwater Players are found across the planet and it is our ambition to reach them where they are. In that spirit, Hoalen has recently been introduced in Japan and Spain through our distribution partners. We have birthed this brand and it is our aim to expand it. However, we will not compromise any of its original values. After all, they are the sole reason why we embarked ourselves on this adventure in the first place.