Nightswim is a reverence to our planet...a nod to the place we call home. it’s the result of over 2 ½ years of research, testing, developing and strategizing how to apply principles of eco and ethical designs to bring you a collection that cares about the environment as much as we care about you. a whole lotta love and labor went into this pet project with the initiative to reshape the way we look at fashion. our promise to make things right, begins here. follow our journey...
fact: fast-fashion collections are refreshed 8 times a year.
what does this mean: disposable consumption mentality of buy, buy, buy, now.
why is the fast fashion dominating the industry? simple. higher production quantities delivery lower prices for the consumer which means more accessibility to fleeting trends that you’ll toss an ig post later because you’ve already been photographed in it (and look back on in 5 years and cringe).
the result: 13.1 million tons of textile goods in landfills — that’s bs.
quality over quantity: we take a slower approach, with pieces intended to last longer than a trending hot second. simpler silhouettes are timeless with no added fuss and are produced at a scale that is proportional to demand in order to minimize waste and maximize the quality value of every piece.
understanding the process: although sustainable fashion has a less environmental impact than conventional fashion brands, it costs more to produce on account of alternate, less utilized methods. but on the flip, the product is longer lasting, sustainable, and environmentally conscious.
our initial efforts to print using sublimation techniques started out rough, bringing production to a halt. unfortunately, this printing method—which consumes the least amount of water—cannot be applied to natural, organic, breathable fibers which are important to us. in the meantime, we went on to test a digital printing alternative, which is essentially a computerized version of traditional screen or rotary printing methods. it requires 95% less water and reduces the use of super-toxic discharge dyes. traditional printing techniques use only 80-90% of the fabric, leaving waste before the piece is even sewn up. digital printing also achieves a greater quality that allows for intricate designs, with basically no limit to how many colors can be used. this technique results in limited fading, peeling or chipping compared to traditional techniques. as you can imagine, these printing methods are more costly but they contribute to quality while minimizing the negative footprint.
trial: you’ve probably heard by now that dye runoff is detrimental to our water supply…. yet design and quality are compromised when working with natural dyes made from herbs, fruits, clays and teas which have extremely limited colors..
error: Nightswim tested a slew of natural dyes on fabrics that eventually bled in the wash, this means your clothes would stain your laundry and fade quickly in the sun— that’s when we knew natural dyes weren’t an option. plus, they would require large amounts of water and chemical fixing agents.
solution: obviously, quality couldn’t be compromised so we sought an alternative in the form of azo free dyes. azo free dyes are chemically based to give the same color palette as conventional dyes without the use of certain toxic chemicals and metal compounds ranging from chlorine to known carcinogens like aryl amines, and they do not contain heavy metals. azo free dyes have a higher fabric absorption rate which means less chemical and grey water runoff into the environment. yay!
sourcing: during the initial stages of fabric scouting, we quickly discovered that recycled, eco-friendly material is quite the scarcity, especially when sourcing locally in la mills — a huge component in reducing the environmental impact of shipping. developing a super soft, fluffy terry that would dry in the sun and not collect sand while being environmentally conscious, was a 6+ months development process. finding the right Los Angeles mill that would accept a small company like ours and believed in it enough to create a new fabric, was nothing short of miraculous.
meet your new fave fabrics: we selected a recycled polyester and organic cotton blend. you’ll love it. why? because at one point in time in your life, you probably helped create it. the recycled, manufactured fiber is produced from raw materials collected from post-consumer, recycled products such as polyester fiber made from plastic bottles. in short, our fiber source is responsible for recycling over 10 billion plastic bottles-- that's enough bottles to circle the earth 50 times end to end. mind blown yet? we are.
to eliminate the synthetic feel, blending this fabric with a natural organic fiber is crucial. we chose to mix with organic cotton which is responsibly grown and produced. organic crops like cotton can be engineered to have a higher yield, allowing smaller plots to be dedicated to farming. it also can reduce crops' reliance on pesticides, making engineered plants potentially more suitable for no-pesticide techniques than conventional varieties. not to mention, it uses crop rotation instead of agrochemicals and artificial fertilizers, as well as biological pest control instead of pesticides.
our third fiber used, is a soft, supple challis—a woven fabric that is 100% sustainable rayon. what does that mean? rayon is a fabric made from regenerated cellulose fiber from natural, renewable resource: plants; sustainably harvested beech trees in pefc certified european forests and using an environmentally friendly bleaching method for pulp for their cellulosic fibers.
did you know: many retailers require the shipping of products to be individually wrapped in a poly bag. every single piece of clothing or accessory you buy was once wrapped in a plastic bag — whether it was shipped to you directly or bought at a store. around 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed as a result— that’s bonkers!
our stance: since cutting trees and using useless plastics isn’t our thing, we’ve opted out of retailers’ requirement to ship in poly bags—even if that means being penalized. instead, we use seed paper and our bio-cassava bag has become the ideal replacement to petroleum-based plastic bags. it’s nontoxic, with high-performance for carrying weights and good oxygen barrier and anti-static properties. compostable and biodegradable!
marketing materials: lookbooks, line sheets, and business cards have always been an essential business tool to have— and we agree--but we’ve decided to completely cut down on the paper waste. for one, well, there’s phones now. we no longer see the use in business cards. as far as lookbooks and line sheets are concerned, they’re only printed minimally. printing though, is carefully thought out. we use 100% pcw stocks. stocks are fsc certified, green seal certified, made carbon neutral plus, processed chlorine free, and manufactured with 100% renewable green electricity and printed sustainably with soy-based dyes.
understanding the production process: this has been the biggest challenge of them all, as producing locally in Los Angeles is a priority. many local factories, though considered fair, are not environmentally friendly or fair-trade enough for Nightswim’s standards. most contribute to fast fashion waste and even illegally pay workers less than minimum wage.
the collection initially began development with a longtime ally project manager who understood the needs and values of Nightswim but had to cancel during post-development process, as a result of their manufacturing facilities unexpectedly shutting down. the reason: a mass-market retail order which the factory had produced was canceled affecting the business that had successfully operated for over 10 years. that’s the thing about supplying for such a fast-fashion mass market — low costs, high volume, combined with extremely transient trends unfairly pressuring the entire supply chain.
teaming up: Nightswim, never compromising its core values, sourced for the right factory causing a delay in the projected launch date. this all was taken as a realignment kick to find an even more fair operating business which was a huge success. the garment manufacturer located in Los Angeles, is a hidden gem that prides themselves in high-quality craftsmanship with a strong ethos built in sustainable and ethical practices. their services reflect towards a progressive movement taking care of its operators, reducing waste and rejecting unhealthy working conditions, fighting low wages and unethical practices.
each piece is intended to be cared for responsibly, hand washed and hung dry. and yes we get it, throwing it in the wash and dryer is time efficient and you probably won’t listen to us, but we beg you to give it a try — it’s not that hard! fill up a tub/bucket/sink, add a dash of ethically sourced soap and let it soak while you do something else, come back when you have 5 minutes and then hand dry. skip the dryer, you’re clothes will last longer, and you’re doing a good deed for mama earth so why not? the airy fabrics quickly dry! two-thirds of clothes’ carbon footprint occurs after you take it home so take responsibility.