We wanted to check in on our friends at Afuera Vida now that they have started heading south. As the weather starts to turn here in SF, we’re a little more jealous of their travels. When they dropped by our HQ last week, it was hard to resist stowing away. At least one of us could fit in a surfboard bag strapped to the roof… Here’s their latest outpost from the road:
~ As crisp fall air started creeping straight through our van walls, we knew we had to begin tracking south. The Pacific Northwest was hard to leave. Late summer was full of glacial river swims and off road exploration.
Bend marked our last stop in the PNW before pointing it to Yosemite. We planned on traveling down the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada, through the alpine desert reminiscent of what awaits us in Baja.
Although we planned to hit Yosemite early to avoid bad weather, it didn't work out exactly as planned. A September snowstorm shut the Tioga Pass, forcing us to camp out at a nearby hot springs. Camilo started to show signs of a cold coming on and Alfonso caught it within a day. We were in one of our most exciting stops with two sick kids, a closed road, and a crunched timeline. These are the moments that make us question why we do this.
Regardless, we have to roll with whatever is thrown at us. From sick kids to lost cameras to bickering over where to park our 30 foot van in San Francisco, the journey must continue.
We’re now halfway through California, gearing up for the final stages of our US adventure before crossing into Baja. It’s bittersweet leaving the states. But for us this story is about connecting our North and South American roots, so we trek on. ~
In the beginning of 2019, Colin Boyd & Sofi Aldinio decided to uproot their young family of four, buy a bright orange 1978 Mercedes bus, and set off from Maine to Argentina. We were jealous enough of their trip that we figured we could tag along, figuratively, for a bit of the journey. So for the next few weeks Marine Layer will be keeping up with them during their drive south.
Their 1978 Mercedes 508D Germand Command & Control Center has been shown at van and tiny house festivals around the US and compared to Da Bus, it runs great. You can keep tabs on their adventure by following them at Afuera Vida.
Stay tuned over the next month as we post more of their correspondence from the road. In the meantime, we’ll have them tell you a bit about what inspired their trip:
~ Driving from Maine to Argentina was something that lurked in the back of our minds for the past few years as we judiciously went to work, paid the bills and ghosted through our routine lifestyle. But after the arrival of our second son, we began hunting down a van. Months later we found a 1978 Mercedes bus and knew this was it.
After nine months on the road, we feel liberated from our old lives. There are new challenges, of course, but we are happier and more connected with ourselves and each other.
Twenty states, 15,000 miles, 240 nights of camping, and countless hikes later we’re ready to embark on phase two of our journey. We are making the final preparations to leave the United States and depart for Mexico. It’s just us, our two sons, the dog, and the van. We’ve passed our shakedown test - the van is running, we are still together, and we haven’t gone broke. We’re stoked to have you follow our journey. ~
Re-Spun changed everything at Marine Layer. For 9 years we tried our best to minimize our social and environmental impact, but we always wanted to do more. Once we began to understand the enormous footprint of the apparel industry, we knew we had to be part of the solution, not the problem.
Since then, it’s been a wild ride. You took up to it immediately, and in the first week we collected 5,000 shirts. Then we collected 20,000, then 50,000, and the waves of old tees continued to flood our customer service department. Now, almost a year into the program, we have collected more than 120,000 of your old shirts!
Here’s what that means from a sustainability standpoint: 30,000lbs of textile waste diverted from landfills and 270 million liters of water saved in manufacturing new tees. Add to that the avoided carbon cost of producing clothes from virgin materials, and now we’re starting to make a real impact.
As we approach a year into Re-Spun, we are continuing to expand and develop the line. That starts with Re-Spun fleece, our first shift away from tees and into outerwear. You told us you wanted more sustainable options, and we thought fleece was a natural progression as we move into colder months.
This is just the beginning. ReSpun is now a core part of who we are and it’s here to stay. Now you can feel better about buying Marine Layer, and we can feel better about making it.
The last year at Marine Layer has been more focused on sustainability than ever before. While upcycling is new to us, other brands were founded on it. This month, we want to highlight some of our favorite companies in the upcycling space doing big things with old materials. To celebrate, we are teaming up with Indosole, Sunski, and Rareform to giveaway some product and spread the message of sustainability.
Indosole was founded in response to the huge amount of tire waste in Indonesia. Indosole intercepts tires before getting to landfills and cuts them into unique, durable shapes to be repurposed as shoe soles.
Sunski makes their frames from recycled scrap plastic, a practice that didn’t previously exist in the sunglass industry.
What happens to the thousands of billboards you see off the side of the highway after the lease expires? Rareform repurposes 50,000lbs of that material each month and turns it into bags.
Big shoutout to each of these brands for breaking the mold and contributing to a conscious consumer economy. Check out the giveaway and enter to win all this sustainable product.
Re-Spun fleece is here! As the first Re-Spun progression beyond tees, we’re pretty excited about it. Expanding the ReSpun collection was something we’ve wanted to do for a while. Now that we’re moving into Fall and Winter, it only made sense to make something warmer, cozier, and more sustainable.
We interviewed our Senior Women’s Designer, Allison, to give some background around the making of ReSpun fleece.
Why did you expand the Re-Spun family into fleece?
We always knew we wanted to do more with Re-Spun than just make tees. Fleece just felt like the natural next step. We also wanted to create warmer stuff before it starts getting cold out, so people can wear Re-Spun year round.
What’s cool about this fleece fabric specifically?
Besides being 100% recycled? It holds warmth really well, but its still breathable, lightweight, and quick drying. So its like a better, cruelty free version of wool. But honestly, i just love it because it's so cozy.
What was the design inspiration behind this new line?
Since we’re giving old textiles a second life on the fiber level, we wanted to do that with design as well. So we’re bringing back that 70s vintage varsity look. Specifically, by using different retro design attributes, like the chevron V, the color blocking, the piping… and so on. Very classic Americana with a Marine Layer twist.
Did you donate an old shirt to Re-Spun? If so, what was it.
Lots of them. One was my old Great Gatsby shirts… loved it, but it was way too worn out. Excited that it’ll be part of another tee one day.