St. Patrick's Day, 2008: Danny Bristow and Dan Werling of Fluidiam were definitely thinking green. After taking notice of the dark, distressed styles that were pervading much of the fashion world and the lack of environmental thoughtfulness in their creation, it was time to invoke change.
Taking its name from one of Bristow's works of poetry, Fluidiam has depth. Fluidiam: "existence in itself; how to have a purpose and reason," says Bristow. With that as grounds for a clothing-line starter, the Colorado Springs-based apparel company seeks not only to clothe the masses, but to extend its mission to environmental involvement and community awareness.
"We're fluid with what we're doing and want to encourage others to be passionate about what they're doing," says Werling.
Sure enough, Fluidiam has a team of people who are passionate about what they do. The street team consists of Dave Banse, a skater; Regan Suzanne Rosburg, an artist; Alberto Frigerio, a BMX-er; and Debby Sanden, "DJ Desire" -- and it could grow. "Fluidiam isn't about me; it's about supporting others and permitting them to be confident in who they are and what they do," says Bristow. Fluidiam wasn't only formed to produce edgy clothing; it was inspired to give people that wear it a strong voice and a sense of conviction. "As a militia, Fluidiam is interested in changing the world, and it certainly starts with the young," says Werling.
To purchase a structured 'Iconic' from Fluidiam's most recent line is a win-win: In addition to the infectious design and the homegrown pedigree, 5 percent of Fluidiam's profit goes to the Lynx Restoration Project. "The hope is to give a purpose for buying our shirts; we decided to do the donating part for them," says Werling.
Being newcomers on the design and operation front, Bristow and Werling have had their share of trials and tribulations. After an initial, unhappy outcome with third-party producers, they agreed to staying in-house with production and bought their own equipment in order to ensure consistent quality. Not only do they orchestrate their own artwork, but they also screen, cook, ink and press.
Because it's just the two of them generating their merchandise, "there have been many hours of complete crap and many hours of pure awesomeness," says Bristow. "If it's not 100 percent, it's time to reconstruct." As Fluidiam grows, the plan is to remain an internally operated business, just bigger.
The "Militia of Global R(eco)nstruction" is expanding. The more like-minded individuals that Fluidiam lures, the more of an impact it's going to have -- and that impact continues to grow; recently, Fluidiam was brought into five Zumiez locations. Products are not only being sold in Colorado Springs at Hoyale Boards, Proper Boards and Suburban Shred, but they are also being sold in Park Meadows, Aurora Town Center, FlatIrons and Castle Rock at Zumiez. Both Bristow and Werling often hang around locations that sell their wares to chat with the customers.
Brandon Thrift preparing the Fluidiam "waterfall" at Zumiez, Park Meadows.
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With a look toward the future, Fluidiam anticipates a head-to-toe thread set, while maintaining consistency. T-shirts are a good beginning, but what's to follow suit? We could expect jeans, hats, jackets and everything else. As long as the hype to make a difference and to rock awesome gear exist, so will Fluidiam.
So, what does your T-shirt say about you?