Riz Boardshorts X Swifty Fitness Collab Balance Boards
We’ve collaborated with our favourite micro-company and boardshorts specialist, Riz Boardshorts. Founded in 2009 by designer Riz Smith, it’s one clothing company that uses positivity to confront environmental concerns in the clothing industry. We’re inspired whenever browsing through their website because Riz talks about designing the future that we want to live in. It's inspirational. The products are beautiful, and we know that Riz and co. run their small business with integrity. Swifty co-founder Camilla Iftakhar talks to Riz about their new collaboration:
Camilla: Hi Riz, for those who are new to Riz Boardshorts, how would you describe what you do?
Riz: Hi Camilla, I guess you could say that we use design to have a positive impact on the world. However small. By making joyful, patterned beach shorts that can help you feel your best, and by making them as thoughtful and sustainable as possible, they can help the planet too.
Camilla: You describe yourselves as “Tailors of Sunshine” - such a perfect motto. It’s so evocative for me. One of the things I love about the Riz brand is that it’s forward-thinking and positive about the future. Through your brand, you’ve managed to fill me with optimism and hope that we can make the positive changes needed. It also makes me want to go to the beach!
Riz: It’s great that you think so! Men’s tailoring and Savile Row were a big influence on our direction. The idea of blending this with laidback colourful beachwear seems fitting for a British brand - it’s fun - so this is where the motto came from. It also drives our mission to do better by focusing on all the little things. And then combining them all. That’s the sunshine - the sum of goodness. It’s an aspiration.
Camilla: For all the time I’ve known you, I can tell that you’re so passionate about boardshorts. These shorts mean way more than a normal pair of swim shorts right? I can appreciate that your love for a particular garment somehow just comes from within - would you agree with that? Is creating boardshorts an all-encompassing expression of self?
Riz: I think you’re right. The boardshort, at the time when we started in 2009 was an item I felt embodied freedom, style and a connection to the beach. A piece of clothing I know my friends and I loved wearing. It’s also a one-item outfit. Perfect! The tailored element to them is elegant but they are laid back, and cool. Perhaps boardshorts are a metaphor for where I want to get to, or be. We now make swim shorts also, but the boardshort is where the soul is.
Camilla: The new collection of shorts has just been released, and they feature both these beautiful prints. Tell me about the two designs - the Seaweed and Leaves prints - what inspired these?
Riz: Our prints are always inspired by nature, often marine life, but also elements that are typical of the British Isles. We call it British-Aloha. These two prints symbolise regeneration: as both seaweed and trees sequester carbon well, and the world needs much more of them both. The Leaves print is meant to feel quite classic, featuring Oak and Ash tree leaves, but the Seaweed print is super bold. The hot pink and vibrant blues make it abstract and lively.
Camilla: The colours are divine, and the digital prints are detailed and beautiful. It’s not just about the prints though is it, you care about the product being sustainable and not harming the environment. Tell us what that means to you?
Riz: Sadly, fashion has a big problem with waste, with overconsumption and under-wearing of existing clothes having a huge impact on our planet. This leads us to think about making our shorts from waste and then recycling them again at the end of their life, leaving no waste. The problem has helped create a circular solution. And as our shorts are created to be worn in the sea, it’s inspired us to care even more for the environment, especially the playground they are designed for.
I think the real aim is for it all to have a positive impact together though: the prints, the process, the sourcing, the end-of-life, and how the shorts make you feel. It’s this holistic approach that together we hope creates something meaningful.
Camilla: At Swifty we love creating sustainable fitness equipment that celebrates creativity and freedom in fitness. How does that resonate with you? I hope you’ve had fun using the balance board!
Riz: Celebrating creativity and freedom is completely aligned with us too, and it’s what makes this collaboration resonate. Both the balance board and boardshorts share a laid-back simplicity and style through movement. The craftsmanship of the board is a thing of beauty and it’s great to see our prints on another product, especially the colours soaked into the wood. So thank you.
So far, the board is a lot of fun. It’s like skating and surfing combined, indoors, on the spot. Very satisfying! It’s also just a wonderful object to brighten up any interior!
Camilla: Thanks Riz, I'm so glad we could finally collaborate. It's been a pleasure preparing the new balance boards. We've filmed some footage of the boards being made in the Swifty workshop. Go to Instagram @swiftyfitnessco and @rizboardshorts to watch them. To check out Riz's lovingly made boardshorts go to rizboardshorts.com