Vivida Lifestyle is a waterwear accessory company that was founded in 2015, starting first with t-shirts, ponchos and hoodies and steadily growing into technical waterwear and accessories that complement the kiteboarding lifestyle. Global Engagement Director Jackie Tyburski fills us in on the culture behind the brand and the key products for 2022.
Vivida is a grassroots apparel and waterwear company that has enjoyed organic growth in the watersports and windsports industries over the last six years. What are the core themes behind Vivida products and how has it retained its grassroots culture?
Vivida was built on the concept of “Viva la Vida”, in reference to the pursuit of living a meaningful life. To us, living out this concept means pursuing one’s passions, getting outdoors and experiencing those flow moments that are synonymous with time spent on the water and beyond. This, in combination with supporting the earth that we enjoy really drives our product development, not only in what the products are but how they are designed and produced.
Our community is constantly providing feedback and insight into product features and how we can improve. We feel very lucky to constantly be able to lean on the people that use the products and be inspired by them. The driving force in our product is always to build for the adventures, dreamers, thinkers and doers. We want to elevate your explorations wherever they may lead, because really, those experiences are what make for a beautiful, meaningful life.
Vivida’s Poncho Towel Changing Robe has become a huge hit since its introduction. How has this product evolved and what are the key features that make it incredibly comfortable, warm and easy to use?
Poncho Towels were one of the first products Vivida introduced to the market as a fledgling start-up and they have been a crowd favorite ever since. It’s such a universally convenient product, no matter your sport, location or weather. If you are near water, you can always use a poncho to dry off, get changed or just hang-out beachside in.
We have been really careful not to change the product too much for the sake of updating. Instead, we’ve strategically made small improvements to enhance what we feel is the best poncho on the market. In terms of eco-friendly materials, there’s room for improvement. Our Microfiber is more absorbent and quick drying than nearly any other fiber available, but it is not sustainably made. So, while some other ponchos on the market may be more “natural,” being made of cotton or bamboo, there are some huge downsides to those fabrics. Cotton will hold onto water and stink up your car in no time, while bamboo has a surprisingly bad reputation in terms of the chemicals it requires to be produced.
We have been on the hunt for the perfect eco alternative to microfiber for years now, and are excited to say that we have finally found it – which we’ll be revealing in 2022 – so stay tuned. The future of regenerative fibers is extremely exciting and we can’t wait to see what we’ll be lucky enough to utilize in the coming years. In the meantime we remain really proud of our poncho towels that do an incredible job getting you changed, dry and warm in no time…. and that you only need to buy once! They last forever.
We’ve just come out with some incredible new earthy tones and improved features like a more tapered style, additional room around the chest for changing and some strategic pockets for extra functionality. And on an eco-note, for those that love our ponchos but want to be a little more planet-conscious, the Guppyfriend wash bag we now offer can be used when washing the poncho towel to prevent microfibers from getting into waterways and oceans. We think being transparent about sustainability is of the utmost importance, and we are constantly learning and looking for new ways to be better for the planet in an organic and realistic way.
New for this year, Vivida is introducing two new styles of changing robes that look incredibly warm and stylish. How does the All Weather Puffer compare to the All Weather Sherpa Changing Robe and how do you help customers choose between these two items?
Oh yes, these two all weather changing robes are just about the best upgrade we can think of in terms of elevating a kite session off the water. You can think of the Sherpa Fleece as being heavy on the inside, light on the outside and the Quilted Puffer as being light on the inside, heavy on the outside. The inner lining of the Sherpa Fleece is warmer & cozier upon immediate touch, however after time the Quilted Puffer will keep you warmer thanks to its ultra-insulation QuiltedCloud fill which traps warmth to preserve your body heat to a greater extent than the Sherpa Fleece will.
All in all, the Quilted Puffer will keep you warmer; though we didn’t necessarily design one to be much warmer than the other; they’re just different. The Quilted Puffer design is totally unique — Vivida is the first to bring this puffer style into the changing robe category. We can’t wait to see how they perform next to each other — we’re curious, and we’ll be listening. Since they both are incredibly warm, it might just come down to personal preference in how each one feels and looks.
We have a hyper-engaged community that tell us how it would like Vivida to grow. Our feedback loop is grounded in engagement with the Vivida community: they tell us what they love, or don’t love (and sometimes they’re not even aware that they’re telling us anything). Feedback drives creative development as it is quickly integrated into, for example, product for the market – and then the cycle begins again. Our community & customers appreciate this two-way street of direct communication, and as a result, loyalty & authentic connection is continually reinforced. It is the way of the future as well as the foundation of Vivida.
Vivida has a unisex Neoprene Hoody that is geared specifically for kiteboarding. What are the key features and material selection that make this such a popular piece of technical gear?
The Neptune Neoprene Hoodie is the product you don’t realize you need until you try it, and then you can’t imagine living without it. It’s 2mm thick and made from scrap rubber tires and Softskin technology lining, which is comprised of post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, then laminated with a solvent-free glue. The technology behind not only the fabric, but how it’s put together is incredibly innovative and fascinating.
It’s got a reinforced harness hook opening and flush holes on the pocket and hood for ideal drainage. Kiters love it, not only for the kite specific features, but also because it can easily be worn on top of or without a wetsuit. Sometimes it’s easier to throw this on instead of a wetsuit if it’s not super cold and you just need that extra bit of protection during your session. Kiters we’ve tested it with say it feels super lightweight and is the perfect wind-resistant outer layer that dries quickly and keeps the warmth in.
All the small things like waist, hood and adjustable wrist straps, we made sure to include so that the fit is perfect for any scenario. I think the biggest fans of this product have been the kite instructors, or people who find themselves in and out of the water for long periods of time. No one wants to wear a wetsuit all day, but this is that perfect in-between item that is incredibly well-made and will keep you warm and toasty when the elements are trying to prove otherwise.
We’ve noticed that you will occasionally operate on a pre-order basis rather than the standard model of sales. Is there a reason behind that?
Yes, absolutely. We think using pre-ordering as part of our sales model contributes to a more sustainable way of operating. So much of what is produced in the apparel industry goes unsold and eventually ends up in landfills (20-30% to be specific!), so not only is it a good way to prevent overproduction and waste, it also just makes good business sense in terms of producing what there is actual demand for, and taking the guesswork out of what colors, styles or sizes are most in demand.
We think that we can always be better stewards in this industry, and this is one way of combating impulse buying and fast-fashion. If we can hone in on exactly what people want, we can build better quality products. Plus, there is the upside of the customers getting a discount from pre-ordering on the front end of receiving their product, versus waiting for what they want to go on sale or end up in some bargain bin. It’s so much better for everyone and improves every step of creating a quality product worth waiting for.
The women’s line features a line of stay-put swimwear as well as a reversible wetsuit that is geared for active, water-based lifestyles. What are the key features of these suits that allow them to keep up with female athletes?
We build swimwear and waterwear for active women because every female should feel good on and near the water, regardless of her sport or activity. We enjoy bringing super high-performance pieces to women who want to be empowered in their sport with functional swimwear that also looks and feels beautiful on.
All too often women are served skimpy bikinis or poorly made suits that may look nice, but the performance is just not there. The choice between function and style should not be one women have to make when it comes to swimwear. Many female pieces, in the kite world especially, are an afterthought, and that’s not how it should be. We have loved creating stylish pieces that you can count on to hold up in any kite session or surf outing. Most importantly, they stay-put and don’t fly off the moment you wipe out or try a new trick. We’ve also really keyed into reversible pieces, such as with our Linda Wetsuit and Hermosa Bikini set. Who doesn’t want a two-in-one deal?
All our swimwear, including bikinis and one pieces, as well as the Linda wetsuit are made with recycled materials such as post-consumer plastic bottles and recycled rubber tires. This is another area we are constantly improving upon and receiving feedback from our customers and the Vivida community.
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