Golden Memories: RAEN Collab 2016

Cross-Atlantic Collaboration

California has, in many ways, always been the spiritual home of surf movements and subsequent cultural uprisings. The state’s stretch of US coastline has created more surf myths and legends than any other surf location on the planet. 

It therefore comes as no surprise that it has always been at the forefront of surf fashion and indeed the new wave of sustainable fashion brands that are popping up around the world, led by the likes of TWOTHIRDS.

While we were never tempted to up sticks and move TWOTHIRDS to the Golden State, we’ve always admired many surf brands that grew up there, be it Volcom, Stüssy or any other company who took surfing’s rebel spirit and embodied it in a clothing collection, even if we think they could have done things in a slightly more sustainable way.

The same applies with eyewear, with many postwar surf icons rocking whacky and super-cool sunglasses down on beaches like Trestles, The Wedge and Huntingdon. Tapping into that unique Cali surf vibe were (and are) RAEN, an eyewear company run by brothers Justin and Jeremy Heit, along with their friend Jordan Percy. 

A family-run company that began life as a start-up in 2008, and whose vision was to create unique, handmade designs – everything about RAEN immediately appealed to us.

Then, out of the blue, in 2016 we were presented with the opportunity to collab with this iconic brand. And so, it was decided that the collaboration would be consecrated by a pair of sustainable boardshorts and a special TWOTHIRDS glasses case, which would house a pair of limited edition RAEN glasses, aptly named Barceloneta, after the Barcelona district that borders our home city’s main surf beach.

Glasses, Case and Boardshorts

When we collaborate with another brand, it’s of the utmost importance that products produced by both parties are sustainable and eco-friendly. Thankfully, RAEN were always on the same page as us, their limited edition frames being made of Mazzucchelli M49 “bio-plastic”, which is 100% eco-friendly, biodegradable & recyclable acetate. They even added a beautiful detail to the eyewear’s temple tips, which featured our little TWOTHIRDS logo. It’s the details that matter!

For our part, the boardshorts and case were both made from the same recycled polyester material, ensuring that all three pieces adhered to the principles of a circular fashion system, which removes harmful plastics from the environment and puts them to good use, as part of eco-fashion collections like this one. 

To put the icing on the cake, the glasses case was accompanied by a cleaning cloth, which boasted a stunning ocean graphic, so that lucky customers could imagine the ocean itself was washing their lenses clean. 

Launch Party

No good fashion collaboration can pass without it being launched in style at some form of celebratory event. For this extra-special collab, we turned the TWOTHIRDS Barcelona store (back when we had a physical store) into a party venue. 

People representing both companies, along with a number of other ocean lovers, spilled out onto the street, listened to music provided by long standing friend of the company, Jorge Hunt, and enjoyed some drinks.

The event also exhibited an array of photos, created by longboarding icon Kassia Meador and pro photographer Woody Gooch, images which were duly drooled over by everyone in attendance. 

Collabs Lead to More Collabs

The more people you meet in the world of sustainable fashion, the more you realise just how willing everyone is to collaborate and give each other a foot up. It’s why we so often find that one incredible sustainable fashion collab can lead directly to another.

Just a year after having seen the TWOTHIRDS logo appear on a limited edition pair of RAEN sunnies, we had the pleasure of seeing RAEN brand ambassador Kassia Meador launch her very own TWOTHIRDS capsule collection. The legendary surf queen even came to Barcelona to surf for our shooting team and try on the clothes we had so lovingly designed and crafted in her honour.

Sunglasses Remain Rare & Sought-After

At the time of writing, this is still the only collab we’ve undertaken with an eyewear company. This means that the sustainable swimwear, eco-friendly eyewear, and green accessories that formed the TWOTHIRDS X RAEN collection are now highly desirable collectables. 

If you happen to see some up for grabs around the web, do not hesitate to give them a new home, because in many ways they are emblematic of how eco-fashion became the mainstream in the 21st century. Whether you live in California or in Barcelona, these timeless designs and sustainable materials are guaranteed to look cool, down at your local break or surf shack hangout.