If you haven’t noticed yet, we love bright, fun patterns here at LAYA Active. Even more? We love knowing that they are made with sustainable materials and won’t fade after repeated sweat sessions and washings. 

How can we obtain this non-fade design? Through a printing process called sublimation.

This is how it works. Once we come up with a design, it gets sent as a file to our print house in Oregon. There, they print it out and put it through a special sublimation printer. This printer uses high heat and pressure to open up the fibers of the fabric and imprint the design. It works best on synthetic fabrics like polyester, and in our humble opinion it feels even better that we print on recycled synthetic fabrics like our eco-friendly REPREVEⓇ fabric

Once the fibers are opened, the ink from the design sublimates. As a quick refresher from high school chemistry, when it sublimates it transforms from a solid ink to a gas skipping the liquid state all together. That’s some science magic right there! The gas then infiltrates and permanently locks into the fiber resulting in a long lasting, non-fading, and vibrant design. 

How is it better for the environment than other printing techniques? Well, it’s a zero waste technique! It ensures that no dye ends up as run-off into our water system. Additionally, the only energy needed is heat, which is not only easy to obtain but it’s also a renewable resource! 

The Sustainable Fashion Collective blog does a good job of explaining the sublimation process in further detail here.

We think it’s important to share as much as we can about our process to maintain transparency and to spread the knowledge of sustainable methods. We hope this inspires you and other brands out there to be more proactive in how we can all create a more sustainable future!