We make hats that go easy on the planet, only you can bring them to life.
We realize the every product made causes environmental impact to some degree. It’s our goal to limit that impact in every way we can. We focus on:
- Utilizing Recycled Materials
- Creating with 100% Organic Cotton
- Third-Party Testing
- Using Renewable Energy
- Packaging in Non-Toxic Garment Bags that are Water-Soluble and Biodegradable
- Replacing Single-Use Plastics with Biodegradable Materials
The Conner Hats Story:
They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to make an expert.
Will Conner started clocking his way toward hat making proficiency as a kid in his dad’s factory in Byron Bay, Australia. In 2014, the surfer/musician created the Conner Hats brand.
Will Conner grew up in Byron Bay and came to St. Augustine, Florida at age 18 to study business administration at Flagler College. In one class the professor asked, “What would be a good business idea?” Will’s reply was, “to sell Australian hats.” The whole class, including the professor, laughed at the idea, either because Australian hats were a surprising choice, or because of Will’s thick Aussie accent. Either way, it was just enough of a challenge for Will to try to prove them wrong. After his first semester, Will decided he’d take a chance and learn business in the real world.
By designing and manufacturing styles beyond what BC Hats offers, Will was able to grow his business and find placement in a wider selection of retail stores across the U.S. As the business grew, Conner Hats solidified a commitment to incorporating sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp, and from recycled plastic composites.
Will’s travels as a young man gave him an appreciation for how all humans affect the world we live in. Realizing that every product has an impact on the planet, Will makes it company policy to tread lightly and consider the wider outcome of business decisions. “I believe we can make a positive change,” Will says. “Thoughtful actions can improve the health of business while reducing negative impact on cultures and ecosystems alike. Our goal is to promote long-term thinking and to really consider future generations with every product we create and every decision we make as a brand.
Owning and managing Conner Hats is a great challenge, and we are always learning, always growing. We’re open to innovation and there are some great examples in the outdoor industry in the U.S. and around the world that we aspire to.”
“Responsible business practice presents great and ongoing challenges. None of the success we’ve had so far could have been achieved without our small but amazing crew, including my operations manager, Margie Conner (Aunt Margie). All of us at Conner Hats try to keep an open mind and embrace change. We’re always learning and are excited to discuss and hear new ideas about how we can improve in every way.”
Today, BC Hats and Conner Hats can be found in stores worldwide, and online. Will still calls Byron Bay home and takes great pride in selling his dad’s original Australian-made hats alongside styles from the Conner Hats brand. He travels between St. Augustine and Byron Bay and credits his parents Bill and Marion with showing him that even if you start with just an idea, as long as you are happy on your path and never give up, there is no limit to what you can achieve.
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