Viva La Good Life
Our new Spring collection was inspired by the sun-faded pastels and patterned tiles of Mexico City… So picking a place to shoot this catalog was pretty easy.
Sure, getting there was a little tough, but a valuable lesson in physics. (Who knew one Toyota Camry could fit 9 suitcases and 5 people? We do know.)
Here’s where we went in those 48 hours:
Suuuuuuper easy to pronounce. Looks like a carnival, but it’s actually a canal full of colorful flat-bottomed boats called trajineras (another easy word for ya).
BYOB. But if you forgot to bring any, there’s a ton of floating markets around.
And floating mariachi bands (in case you forgot your speakers).
2. Churreria El Moro
This churro factory has been around since 1935, and they’re absolute masters at their craft.
They were good… too good. We downed like 30 churros each. Which prompted a team siesta. Mandatory attendance.
3. Proyecto Publico Prim
Aka where we shot the cover of our Spring catalog. Originally built for a dictator, but then abandoned after an earthquake.
Now it’s an event venue and co-working space. And we thought the WeWork in SF was nice…
4. Mercado San Juan
This marketplace dates back to 1955, and sells all kinds of stuff — like fresh-squeezed juice…
...oh yeah, and cockroach, armadillo, iguana, wild boar, and alligator meat. Woof. We all contemplated vegetarianism after that visit.
Ahh, Mexico City’s historic center. These streets were Frida Kahlo’s old stomping grounds. (Yeah, we took an Art History class, we know what’s up.)
It was full of wonky cobblestone sidewalks and potholes. Pro tip: don’t wear heels. Our stylist took a couple of faceplants. Which Alex enjoyed, at least.
Also Mexico City used to manufactures VWs, so these streets were covered in Punch Buggies. Our arms are still sore from punching each other each time we spotted one.
6. Some Random Sushi Place
On the last day of the trip: we had sushi. Thus continuing our tradition of really leaning in and enjoying the local cuisine.
Mexico City, you were amazing. We’ll definitely be back.
Checking Off 2018 Resolutions
Whoa. A lot happened this year.
This past year, we actually stuck to our resolutions. Well, some. We’re not perfect. Anyways, here’s what they were:
We launched our Weekend Sport activewear line for whatever you do (or don’t do) on the weekend.
We created a fabric that was technical enough to work out in (4-way stretch and moisture-wicking) but comfortable enough to relax in.
Great for uphill runs or waiting in ridiculously long brunch lines. Seriously, SF, we need to do something these wait times.
Open up in cool cities.
Like New Orleans.
Our new spot on Magazine Street even has a 2-bedroom Airbnb in the back.
With a take-a-record leave-a-record wall.
Make a great pair of jeans.
We spent the last 10 years perfecting the t-shirt. It’s about time we took on denim.
In September, we launched ML Denim: the world’s softest premium denim.
Show our pride.
We raised over $17,000 to support The Trevor Project’s life-saving work and took to the streets for SF Pride.
We also decided to build a float featuring Da Bus. And cover it in rainbows and glitter. Naturally.
Step up our sustainability game.
Heyo, Re-Spun. So long, textile waste.
We’ve collected over 10,000 tee donations so far — and this is just the beginning. Lots more to come in 2019.
We went to Kauai, Todos Santos, Joshua Tree, Seattle, and Copenhagen to shoot catalogs (and rack up some airline miles).
Did someone tell Alex the boat’s not over the water?
Don't give up on Da Bus.
Even after 6 breakdowns….
We took Da Bus down to LA with our friends at Lost & Found...but only made it to SLO.
Thanks to the help of an inferior minivan we rented in her place, we were able to make it to our LF x ML event juuust in time.
Other events… we weren’t so lucky. (We also might need to add “replace engine” to this year’s list.)
Expand the friend group.
We hired 22 new people (!) to help us make more of your favorite stuff.
2018 has been good to us. Can’t wait 2019.
When I started Marine Layer almost 10 years ago, the goal was to make the best shirt we could... and not go out of business. Adam and I (and the rest of the crew) have spent the majority of the last decade worrying about those things. And in the process, we've managed to build a great brand and a tremendous community of supporters.
But as we gained a better understanding of the apparel industry and its negative impact on the environment, it became clear that we had to do more than just make great clothes and not go broke. We needed to figure out a way to be part of the solution.
Over the years we tried lots of things (including a hideous recycled t-shirt bag) but struggled to figure out how to make a substantial positive impact. Turns out, our fatal flaw was not coming up with a solution that involved our customers.
That's why we're so excited about Re-Spun. It's the only recycling program around that leverages the incredible power of our community.
We launched Re-Spun this past month and already got about 3 times as many donation commitments as we expected. We need 20,000 to get to the scale where this program will work, and we're well on our way. Hopefully, this is just the beginning!
Thanks to everyone who has participated. And to everyone who read this far down in our message.
Can we send in old jeans, button-downs, or anything else that isn’t a tee?
We’re just taking t-shirts this time around, but if they end up in our bin we’ll find a responsible use for them.
Does it have to be a Marine Layer shirt?
Nope. It can be any brand. Kirkland Signature, Chanel, or anything in between.
Can we send in any fabric/material tees?
We love almost all fabrics and materials. The only thing we ask you don’t send is activewear fabric. That stretchy spandex is tough to break down.
Instead, cut it up and use it to dry dishes. That stuff is like magic.
How many shirts can I send you?
As many as you want. The more, the merrier. Also, the more credit for you.
If I donate 100 shirts, do I get $500 credit?
Nice try. You get $5 credit per tee -- up to $25. So:
2 tees……………... $10
3 tees……………… $15
4 tees…………..… $20
How long will you be collecting shirts?
Forever. “10,000 tees” just the number we need to fill up our first shipping container.
Can we bring them to stores or does it have to be online?
Either. Both if you’d like. Every ML store has a drop-off mailbox.
What’s the condition that they should be in? (Holes, stains, etc.)
Everything’s washed and broken down to the fiber level, so it seriously doesn’t matter. Send us your tees with stains, holes, and rips. Any condition.
If you get the full $25 credit, can you ever get credit again if you send more tees?
Not with the same email. But force your friends to donate, and then steal their code. #friendship.
If we bring 6 tees to the stores, can we receive our $25 and use it immediately?
Yup. Or if you want to save the credit for later, one of the store associates will e-mail you a code.
Bonus points for old ML shirts?
Nah, but clearly you have great style.
Are these made with any hazardous chemicals?
The people up top doubled checked to make sure there’s no sketchy business. RecoverTex yarns are certified with OEKO-TEX 100 to assure lack of hazardous chemicals, and the Global Recycling Standard to assure recycled content.
Oh yeah, and RecoverTex upcycled cotton yarns score THE BEST in Higg MSI.
Higg MSI? Is this another Danish word you guys are using?
Nope. Basically, every company gets a number out of 100 - a “sustainability performance” score. It ’s a great way to publicly compare and expose companies, so we can peer pressure them to not screw over the Earth.
The lower the score, the better. Check this out:
Doesn’t recycled yarn usually feel like a scratchy potato bag? How’d you get it so soft?
We sueded it.
Sueding is when the fabric is rubbed really hard against something scratchy to raise the surface of fibers. Basically, it’s like taking sandpaper and rubbing it against the cloth really fast. This reduces the friction between the fibers and makes it a whole lot softer.
Imagine sanding down a surfboard. It beats down all the splinters and makes for a much smoother ride. That’s basically what we’re doing with our Re-Spun yarn.
Why are people in Spain doing this and not the US?
So RecoverTex, the company we’re working with, has been doing this since the 1960s, so they’re experts in what they do. They started during WW2, when Europe was running out of textiles, people start researching how to re-use what already exists. And thus, RecoverTex was born. America didn’t face that same trouble during WW2, so that’s kinda why.
Do we have to pay to mail in our shirts?
Nope, all our tee recycling kits come with prepaid mailers. Completely free for you.
Are the prepaid mailers recyclable?
Yup, they’re made from recycled materials and will be recycled again.
Isn’t this really expensive for you guys to do?
Yeah, but we really like Earth.