9 years of merch with a message!

post by Si Martin

February, 05 2022


Heads Above The Waves is officially nine years old! 🥳 That means it’s been nine whole years of us sharing people’s stories to remind you you’re not alone. Nine years of sharing things to try if you’re struggling. And nine years of merch with a message!

To celebrate our anniversary, we’ve done a run down of 9 of our favourite messages on our merch from over the years. 9 messages for 9 years! Let’s go!


Even the brightest stars need darkness to shine

If everything feels a bit dark for you right now, it’s ok. And if anything, it’s often when we’re in our darkest times that we’re forced to find out just how bright we can shine.

This design was by Ellie Foster! Go check out her Instagram for more excellent designs.


Too rad to stay sad

I think my favourite thing about the message on this design is that it’s not “too rad to be sad”. Cuz it’s ok to be sad. It’s rad to be in touch with your emotions and understand that having down days is part of the journey. But because you’re such a flippin’ excellent human being, you’re going to find ways to cope with those bad days. You’re not going to feel this way forever. You. Are. Rad. 🤘⚡️

This was also designed by Ellie Foster! What a skill!


Stronger together.

Tbh. I went to write a lil explanation for this design like I have with the others, but I think it just speaks for itself. Regardless of your race, gender, sexuality, religion, ability or age: you are important. You are loved. You are valued. And we’re stronger when we all stand together & build each other up.

Ash Heath nailed this simple yet bold design. Go support her work by checking out her Instagram!


Self-love is punk rock

Has this accidentally become the HATW slogan over the years? Quite possibly. Is it a very true statement? You betcha. It all started as an instagram post Si made on tour in Germany. Here’s the original post that sums it up!

Punk rock (to me, at least) has always been about being yourself, and it not mattering what anyone else thinks of you. It’s about rebellion against “the norm”. And it’s about freedom in all sorts of forms.

To me, self-love is a time where I put my own needs first and don’t worry about what others think. And showing love to yourself still isn’t the norm, in a world where we’re constantly being told we’re not good enough. And then it’s also about making some time & space to be free from all the rubbish stuff swirling around and inside me.

So the only conclusion is that self-love is punk rock. Stay punk. Look out for yourself, and look out for each other.


Love yourself

This design has been with us for a while now! From shirts to hoodies, and more recently in the form of these dope enamel pins. It’s an important reminder to show yourself the same love that you show to the people you care about. Treat yourself with love, because you 100% deserve it! You’re amazing!

This design was by our great pal & tattoo artist extraordinaire Alex Roberts. Go check out her Instagram!


Let go of the past

Perhaps ironic to say “let go of the past” literally in a retrospective post. But hey. It’s a useful message. Sometimes there are things, people, or places that it’s best to just draw a line in the sand and leave behind you. The front of this mega popular hoodie also reminded us to be always looking forward. There’s a whole world of possibilities in front of you.

Our pal Max Nicolai nailed this design many years ago, and it still looks great to this day!


Grow through what you go through

We did a whole range around this theme! The truth is that we truly grow and become stronger, more resilient people when we’re outside of our comfort zone. And every rubbish time and situation that you’ve faced in your life? You’ve survived. You’ve got through it, and you’ve learned how to deal with it the next time that situation comes up. Or at least learned how you don’t want to deal with it.

And there’s some great evidence out there about the link between the natural world and your mental health. Check out this video from Mental Health Awareness Week about just that!


Fall seven times, stand up eight

This comes from a Japanese proverb: ‘Nana korobi ya oki‘. The proverb says “fall seven times, rise eight”, but it could read “fall 99 times, rise 100” or “fall 1,000 times, rise 1,001”. It doesn’t matter how many times life will try and push you down, keep getting back up, and every time you do, you’ll find yourself a little stronger, and a little more resilient for the next time.


I’m glad you exist

What better way to round out this list than with one of the most iconic messages! The world is 100% a better place because you’re in it. The role you play in life is one that only you can play. You are so unique, and you have a positive impact on the people around you whether you realise it or not. And whether you’ve been with us for the last 9 years or you’ve only just found us, we’re so incredibly grateful that you’re here with us. We’re glad you exist!


So thank you for helping us spend nine years sharing the message that hope and help exist! We’re always expanding our range of merch with a message, so we’ve got something for everyone. We’d love for you to check out the latest stuff we’ve been working on (and maybe even pick something up to keep us going for another 9 years!)

Check Out The Collection


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