Conner Hats

A Sustainable Partner

Who They Are

Meet Bill and Will Conner, the father and son hat team behind Conner Hats, an American and Australian homemade hat company that thrives in simplicity.

Bill “BC” Conner was introduced to leatherwork in the 60’s, when the concept of individually crafting products by hand was considered old-fashioned. Despite popular opinion, BC honed his leatherworking skills until he moved to Australia with his wife Marion, 11-month-old Will, and various leather hat and sandal designs.

By 1982, BC had hired his first employees and started a small factory, with the intention to make every hat with the same handcrafted care and quality that he always gave them. In 1986, when the movie Crocodile Dundee was released, featuring the classic Aussie leather brim hat, Bill’s business exploded, eventually awarding him the Small Business Exporter of the Year Award.

Today, you can still find Bill surfing his favorite spots as the sun rises, and later, checking the factory for the hand-made quality he cherishes. The only difference? You’ll often find him with his son, Will Conner, the surfer/musician who transformed BC Hats into the Conner Hats brand. By designing styles beyond what BC Hats offered, Will was able to grow their business, and in turn, grow their impact.

Starting off as one man with a skill, Conner Hats has grown to be an international force, embracing responsible business practices and sustainable innovation.

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Why We Like Them

The slogan “responsibly grown, beautifully made” means more to Bill and Will than just high quality organic cotton hats; it encourages them to never stop asking the hard questions about their business model, and to always seek out solutions that lighten their social and environmental footprint. By committing the time and resources to create a transparent picture of how Conner Hats impacts the world via material sourcing, design, production, and shipping, they are able to address and reduce their overall footprint.

Operating out of dual factories in St. Augustine, Florida, and Byron Bay, Australia, Conner Hats exists to make the world a better place through innovative, sustainable design and social responsibility. They feel it a responsibility to use organic cotton over conventional cotton whenever possible, incorporating it in their sweatbands, linings, and exteriors, to give you a low impact and toxin-free alternative to the fabrics you love.

In the St. Augustine factory, Will has made it an initiative to use 100% recycled paper in everything from catalogs to office supplies. They close the loop by recycling all paper and cardboard, and reuse most of their boxes to save energy and trees. Always looking to improve, in 2015 the St. Augustine factory added 58 solar panels to their warehouse, powering 100% of Conner Hat’s electrical needs!

Coming from two coastal cities, Will and Bill knew that they wanted to make reducing single use plastic one of the primary goals of all levels of Conner Hats. That’s why they do everything they can to remove any and all plastic from entering our waterways, from a whole line of hats made from recycled plastic bottles, to the use of biodegradable string instead of plastic connectors to hang tags. Each hat is sent on a flat section of cardboard, instead of wasteful plastic bags, with woven labels made from recycled P.E.T plastic!

  • Organic Raffia Straw
    Organic Raffia Straw
  • Handmade
  • Sustainable Manufacturing
    Sustainable Manufacturing
  • Organic Cotton
    Organic Cotton
  • Recycled PET Fabric
    Recycled PET Fabric
  • Hemp

Organic raffia straw is generated from palm trees, which have the ability to grow over 50 feet in length, and have the longest leaves in the plant kingdom! Organic raffia doesn’t require any chemical pesticides or fertilizers to grow abundantly This ensures safe and sustainable product for you to use, as well as healthy working conditions for the farmers handling the raffia. Raffia rejuvenates rapidly, and can be used in a variety of ways. The fiber found in the sizable leaves is often used to produce twine, rope, and textiles. These items can then be turned into products such as baskets and hats, which really benefit from the flexible, durable material of the raffia plant.

We support small businesses and craftspeople who create each of their products with care. Handmade products are generally produced on a small scale, without the use of large energy consuming factories and production facilities. Buying handmade helps support art, communities, and people’s livelihoods.

Some or all of the energy used to make this product is produced via renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, or hydropower.

Organic cotton production uses zero chemical pesticides and fertilizers, promoting a healthier use of land and decreasing harmful agricultural runoff. By steering clear of toxic chemicals, workers experience less exposure to hazardous conditions, promoting social responsibility as well as environmental stewardship. Plus, farming methods for organic cotton have been shown to use up to 20% less water than nonorganic production methods. Choosing organic cotton eliminates the use of insecticides and other harmful chemicals, promotes efficient resource use, and results in a safer products and a cleaner planet!

Recycled PET utilizes salvaged post-industrial PET scraps and post-consumer products such as water bottles and other plastic containers. These plastics are dried, crushed, and spun into yarn in order to create recycled PET fabric, or polyester. By providing a use for recycled plastics, companies encourage recycling programs worldwide, while adding new value to discarded items. Currently, over half of virgin PET production goes towards making textiles, so by utilizing recycled PET, post-consumer materials are both diverting waste while taking the place of raw materials. This helps to reduce the demand for the extraction of oil, as well as energy used to produce new synthetic fibers.

This high-yield crop grows quickly and usually doesn’t rely on harsh pesticides and fertilizers, making it a dependable renewable resource. The cannabis plant produces more fiber per acre than common textile crops like cotton and flax, and actually adds nutrients to the soil instead of depleting them! Hemp is strong, breathable, and moisture wicking, and it requires minimal dye during fabric production due to its high absorbency qualities.

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