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Interview: Graham Hamilton of Surfrider Foundation

We spoke with Graham Hamilton, volunteer with the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit organization, to find out just how they keep the beaches looking so clean.
Interview by Katie Gregory

Introduce yourself! Tell us a little about what you do.
I’m Graham Hamilton, and I’m the chairman of the West Los Angeles Malibu Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. I’m out here today helping you guys conduct a beach cleanup at Malibu Surfrider Beach.

Great! Can you tell us a little bit more about Surfrider Foundation?
Well, Surfrider is a global nonprofit. We started in 1984 and our mission is the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans and beaches. So, throughout our network, we have about 85 chapters worldwide, and every chapter is run by a core group of volunteers. These volunteers are working on a number of issues depending on whatever’s happening within their jurisdiction. For example, here in West L.A. Malibu we do a lot of water quality testing and a lot of education and awareness about single-use plastics. Things like that.

Can you tell us what you guys usually look for when you go out on a beach clean?
When we come out to do a beach cleanup, we’re looking for essentially anything that doesn’t belong on the beach. A lot of times people come out and the beach looks relatively clean, and they don’t really know what they’re doing there, but if you look closely, especially on the high tide line, you can see where the sea has deposited pieces of micro-plastic. Something we found today was a tiny little Barbie slipper which, if it doesn’t get removed from the beach, will ultimately end up in our ocean, and potentially in the food chain. A small piece of plastic like that looks like food to a bird or a sea creature and they don’t think twice about swallowing it.

If somebody wanted to get involved with the foundation, where can they go to learn more about it?
We hold monthly beach cleanups; they're the first Saturday of every month and they’re free and open to the public. If anybody wanted to get involved more directly with the organization, I would recommend that they go to where you can look for your local chapter.

Last question: where’s your favorite place to surf?
My favorite place to surf would be wherever it’s firing. [Laughs] Specifically in L.A. it would have to be Point Dume. It’s beautiful, it feels remote and it doesn’t feel like you’re in L.A. county at all. It’s really, really gorgeous. There’s lots of sea life. I see dolphins and seals out there on a regular basis!

See the rest of our beach cleanup here!

NSO Malibu: Surfrider Beach Cleanup

Over the weekend we did a beach cleanup in Malibu with the Surfrider Foundation and cleaned up over 200 pounds of trash from the beach! A ton of our store associates from all over Cali came out to help (on a Saturday morning, no less), and seriously kicked some ass at trash-pickin'. One team even picked up 19 pounds of trash all on their own! Graham, the volunteer with the Surfrider Foundation, made sure everyone knew to keep an eye out for smaller plastic items that get overlooked because those are the items that cause the most damage. At the end of the day, we had a gigantic pile of trash, including some ridiculously big items (like the board above that says "WELCOME TO MALIBU, NOW GO HOME, ASSHOLE"). Overall, not bad for a few hours' work! Check out our picture recap below! —Katie

Here they come! Like a zombie invasion but more fun.

Getting briefed on what to keep an eye out for on the beach.

Garbage-pickin' gloves.

Weighing alllll the trash.

The start of the trash pile.

After everyone returned, Graham from Surfrider told us a little bit more about how to make sure the beaches stay clean.

And that's what 200+ pounds of trash looks like!

If you're in Malibu, you can see our new store at 3806 Cross Creek Road in the Malibu Country Mart.

Dream Come True: Titanic On Netflix

Titanic is on Netflix. I repeat, Titanic is on Netflix. This is the most important Netflix addition of our time, people. I want to be like, "Put your hands on me, Netflix," because I'm so happy they did this. The movie won't exist only in our memories because now we'll be able to turn it on whenever we want. If it ever gets removed from Netflix we'll all have to pull out a whistle and be like, "Come back. Come back."

Okay. I'm done.

But seriously, in celebration of this joyous time, please watch my favorite video ever put on the internet: a montage of Titanic scenes set to "Accidentally in Love." —Katie

Maybe one day I'll be able to watch this without cry-laughing, but today is not that day.

Dark Beach Surf Exhibition

New Image Art, an L.A. gallery, is hosting a show this month titled Dark Beach that will feature works that help contribute to the definition of "surf art." Dark Beach is a grittier look at contemporary surf art, and focuses on the artists' experiences along the coast. Some of the featured artists include Sean Tully (one of last summer's Employee of the Months), Dion Agius and Kassia Meador, along with many, many more. If you'd like to check the show out, there's an opening reception July 27, 7-10PM at New Image Art (7920 Santa Monica Blvd). Hope to see you there!

Spell & The Gypsy Collective

If you're dusting off your boots from Coachella or, like me, you've trawled through enough festival fashion photos while sipping on coconut water that you can vicariously feel Tame Impala still ringing in your ears, you will likely have come across an outfit or two from Spell & the Gypsy Collective

Sisters Elizabeth and Isabella "Spell" Briedis make the kind of clothes destined for desert frolicking, sunset swaying, and boy-in-the-band finagling—all cheeky shorts, fringed vests, crochet dresses, breezy jumpsuits and exotic kimonos. But, as their Instagram feed can attest, they don't just dream the gyspy life, they live it, soaking up the flower-child vibes of Byron Bay, the Australian coastal town they call HQ. Here they mix business and the beach, bedecked in shredded band tees, Stevie Nicks-worthy silks and stacks of Native American-influenced jewelry. 

"Spell and I both grew up in the suburban sprawl of Melbourne, but always had a yearning to jump in a car and fly up the coast highway to a warmer, tropical fairyland," Elizabeth says. "Whether you live in a city or a beachside town, we all get wound up in our own busy routines and how we dress and accessorize can help us channel that wild-child-of-the-'60s alter-ego that usually only comes out at a festival, or on holiday…. I think that Spell taps into that sense of freedom we all crave now and then." For Spring 2013, the duo explored "lots of textures—tasseled knits, lace, velvet and animal print. Our jewellery range is about to get very bold with chunky carved bone tusks and animal claws that we've cast in brass and silver. It's all very wild this season." To celebrate the recent opening of their flagship store in Byron Bay, which they have kitted-out with vintage antler lamps, cane chairs, cowhides and distressed leather couches, Elizabeth gives us a peek into their new boutique and shares some of Spell's hippie wisdom and local favorites. 

Our Perfect Byron Bay day: Early to rise, coffee and pastry at our fave café with girlfriends and their kids, then spend the day at a quiet beach with our boys. Or, if we're lucky, it's the first sunday of the month and we'll head to the Byron Markets for an organic donut. Muses: Stevie Nicks, Kate Moss and Sienna Miller in her boho heyday. Words to live by: Inspire and be inspired. Also, my mum gave me the Desiderata in a birthday card when I turned 12, and every year I read it on my birthday and use it as a compass. Favorite scent: Vanessa Megan Essential Blend. Current obsession: Vintage rocker tees and bells. Favorite foods: Oysters, or all seafood, really. Byron Bay has an epic fish co-op. Our idea of fun: Designing a new range with Spelly, Fleetwood Mac playing in the background. Our take on style: Style is only style if it's your own style. For me, I dress down and over-accessorize. On our stereo right now, you'll find: Storms by Fleetwood Mac—I'm learning it on guitar. —Natalie 

Model Moment: Jade McSorley

Meet Jade: Model, yoga lover and Sigur Rós enthusiast. Here, she talks about traveling the world, searching for great vintage and what you might catch her doing when she's not too busy working.
Interview by Ally Mullen

Introduce yourself and tell us where you’re from originally and where you live now.
Hi! I am Jade McSorley. I’m from the North of England and I’m here in New York just for a few months.

What are you doing in New York?
I’m here with my agency, One Management.

Before the interview, you mentioned your blog. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Yes, I have a blog called Sold Out. Basically it’s about vintage clothes because I get to travel a lot, so when I go to Italy or Paris there’s always amazing vintage shops and I’m a bit obsessed with vintage. I worked in a vintage shop, before I started modeling, for three years. My collection is a bit mental now. It’s kind of gone beyond me. I’ve got too many clothes! So yeah, I just blog about all the fun finds that I see on my travels. There are some amazing pieces out there.

Where do you think is the best country or city to shop for vintage?
I’d say that New York is pretty good if you find the right vintage stores, but Paris is amazing for cheap vintage, especially in Le Marais. There are places where you can go and get vintage, but it’s a bit crazy. Like, you’ll find loads of people in this one room—it’s like a cattle market. Everyone’s rummaging around and you’re kind of a bit scared for your life. And then in Milan you can get really good vintage. It’s quite expensive there, but it’s really good designer stuff.

Where’s the best place you’ve been sent for work?
I don’t know what the best place is. Istanbul was pretty amazing. It was just totally different than anywhere I’d been before. It was really serene. I went for a job but I asked to stay for an extra few days, so I got to just walk around. That was really different. I went to the Grand Bazaar, it’s like an indoor market but it’s full of tunnels. And everyone said, “Don’t go alone, you’ll get lost.”

Did you get lost?
Of course! But I made it out.

Do you get to do any traveling on your own?
I do try and travel outside of work. I do a lot of yoga and I surf so I try and go around Europe when I’m home and go and do a bit of surfing and go to like a yoga retreat to chill out. Gosh, I sound like such a model, don’t I? I love doing that, though. It chills me out a bit. But most of the time I’m traveling and working so I don’t really have that much time to travel. I’d love to do something for like six months to a year and just go away and travel. Maybe one day.

Where are some of your favorite surf spots?
France is quite good. I’m not a really pro surfer, so I go for small waves. But Biarritz in France is a really good place. I really want to go to this place in Barbados that’s like a surfing school, so I might go this year.

Jade, featured here in our "UO x Kekkon: The Maxi Tube Dress" April Fools video.

What do you do on a weekend night if you don’t have to work?
Well, if I’m in Brooklyn I usually just hang out with my friend, another Northern girl named Abi Fox. She’s a model too, so we usually just go out and have drinks and go dancing to a Spice Girls melody or something. I’ve been seeing a lot of Brooklyn and going to different areas. And doing tons of vintage shopping. And I’m going to a gig this week—it’s a Scottish band called The View. They’re kind of like pop-rock.

Is that the kind of music you’re into? Who is your favorite band?
My favorite is 
Sigur Rós, I just saw them at Madison Square Garden and Coachella! [Editor's note: I ran into Jade emerging from the massive crowd during Blur and got to see her at her fest best!]

Where can we learn more about your time at Coachella?

Thanks Jade!

Isla Collective

The chill vibes of Byron Bay, the iconic Australian beach town that Isla Collective designers Katie Burmester and Ayla Caughey call home, inspires their collection of hand-printed basics made from 100 percent cotton and other natural materials. "It will bring out the tomboy in you," say the girls of their casually-cut muscle tees and stripy trapeze tanks. This season the duo adds chunky knits, slouchy pants and long-sleeve T-shirt dresses into the mix, giving more options for those of us who don't have the luxury of walking around town barefoot or going for a cheeky surf on our lunch hour. Here, Isla Collective gives us a preview of their southern hemisphere winter 2013 collection, photographed by Hannah Leser on a lazy afternoon in the tropical splendor of their local surrounds. Natalie

Spring Break: Airbnb

Is winter ever going to end? This is seriously the worst. Sadly, spring break for old people doesn't exist, so if you're out of college, you don't even get to go party in Panama City, FL, with all the other crazy younguns. Thankfully sites like Airbnb exist, so even if you're stuck sitting at a desk this spring break, you can browse through thousands of awesome locations. If you're lucky enough to have a spring break, you should totes book a night on the private Fiji island. And then send me pictures so I can seethe with jealousy.—Katie

Captain Cook, Hawaii

Burlingame, CA

Nanuku Levu Island, Fiji

San Jose, Costa Rica

Aguas Zarcas, Costa Rica

North Goa, India

Rajasthan, India

Bingin Beach, Indonesia

Employee Side Projects

Over the past few months, Urban Outfitters has supported employee entrepreneurial efforts by creating Side Projects, a chance for employees to show off their amazing talents and get their products featured in local stores. Below were our first round of employees, with more coming throughout the year. Enjoy! -Ally

Zatara Skateboards
UO Sales Associate Andrew Cunningham has spent his time working with wood and building for the last 11 years. Recently, he's been making his own skateboards out of reclaimed wood, turning material that others might pass right by into hand-carved works of art.  The reason he started making these decks? "I couldn't find the skateboards that I wanted, so I went out into my parents garage and started making my own."  He's been perfecting his craft ever since. You can find his boards in our Santa Monica store (1440 Third St. Promenade).

Scout Vintage Minneapolis
Upper Midwest District Manager John Migala helps run this vintage shop which is described as, "American heritage with a touch of white collar flair referencing utility, work wear and military styles." Focusing on the needs of the quintessential "man," Scout manages to mix the outdoors with low-cost, unique clothing that will have even the most experienced male thifters at a loss for words. Go get some new digs before they run out at our NYC stores at 14th and 6th (526 Avenue of the Americas).

Black Pyramid Vintage
This vintage shop is filled with all of the things you want to fill your closet with but can never find in any stores. If you want some one-of-a-kind outfits (especially with festival season right around the bend), then this is your to-go shop for making you look cooler than you are.  Shop BPV by San Francisco Store Merchandiser Laura Cerri and her BFF Jessica Dega at the NYC Broadway Store (2633 Broadway) and in San Francisco (3322 Fillmore St.).

Hollywood Sales Associate Sean Tully (and our former Employee of the Month) is back for more Urban fun with a bunch of new zines, T-shirts and faux wooden spray cans he created in between his surf days at sea.  You can find his stuff in San Francisco and on 5th Ave in NYC. Get 'em while they're hot!

Looking for some new zines to flip through? Then Portland Sales Associate Sara Golden is your girl.  Just browsing through her photographs on Tumblr is like having a little kid on your leg begging you to take her on a trip to Disney Land (yeah, that's my idea of a getaway. Sue me.).  Her 'Zines are in San FranciscoCambridge, MA, and NYC.

Write More. Wrong Less.
You would never guess from employee Kat Mills' cat-filled Tumblr that she makes super gnarly zines. You can buy her satanic kitty zine (and more) here, or check her out in San Francisco and NYC.

Lila Ash
Lila Ash, assistant display artist at UO Space 15Twenty, is an illustrator, sculptor and performance artist from NYC who lives and works in L.A. Her paintings and comics have been exhibited at L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and are published bi-monthly in L.A. Record Magazine. She is an alum of the painting department at the Rhode Island School of Design, class of 2011.

Fallen Broken Street

It doesn't matter what side of the equator you're on, right now a felt hat is a desirable object. I've been using mine to protect my head from the strongest of sun rays (that hole in the ozone layer above Australia is no joke), while those braving sub zero temperatures (hey, it's an excuse to drink hot toddies!) could use something to shield from blizzards and combat brain freeze. My favorite new millinery find is Australian label Fallen Broken Street, launched by model David Frim and photographer Justin Crawford, two surfers from Sydney's Northern Beaches. What started in 2011 with knitted beanies has evolved this season to include options like a floppy Carly Simon-worthy style called the Little Hippy; a compact topper named the Cove; an adorable sailor cap dubbed the Slipway; and the Dingo, a modern update on the classic Australian outback hat, minus the dangling corks. Hats off to you, boys! -Natalie

Worn Wear

Patagonia is one of those rare brands that values the stories people live in their clothes more than the clothes themselves. Stemming from their decidedly un-corporate founder down to their minimal and functional clothes, the company focus has always been on adventure more than profit.

In that same vein, Patagonia recently launched Worn Wear, a companion to their already awesome Tumblr, this one devoted exclusively to sharing stories of well-loved Patagonia garments and the journeys they helped make possible. Be sure to follow for killer vintage outdoor pics, including some naked man-butt (y'know, if that's your thing,) and some insightful bits of outerwear history. -Angelo

Shop Patagonia

Happy Australia Day!

I hope you're excited as THIS LADY!

Surfers' Blood

Over a hundred photographs from surf photographer Patrick Trefz will be published in his latest monograph Surfers' Blood later this month. In addition to striking images of surfers catching some beautiful waves, the images also capture the lesser seen moments. Catch a preview of the book at powerHouse Books. -Bob

Congrats to our Surf Daze Sweeps Winner!

Two months ago, we partnered up with favorite surf brand Insight and favorite surf magazine FOAM to give away this epic beach essentials package plus a one-of-a-kind art surfboard to match. Check out these totally beachin’ photos our lucky winner Amanda just sent us, and hang ten until our next contest!

Parking Lot Jam

A couple snaps from M. Nii's Parking Lot Jam event that took place at the parking lot (of course) of Ron Herman in Los Angeles. Check out their blog for more old school surf vibes as well as some well dressed dudes and betty's here. -Bob

Pilgrim Surf and Supply

T Magazine takes a trip to Pilgrim Surf and Supply, a surfy boutique situated in Williamsburg at 68 N. 3rd Street, and shows us what's in store as well as some off the shelf styled looks. Whether you're looking for a new pair of boardshorts or a new shortboard it looks like Pilgrim's got you covered. -Bob

Birdwell Beach Britches

Birdwell has been making their iconic board shorts since 1961 out of little house in Santa Ana, California and is still at it today, though not still producing their shorts from a single machine! The American-made shorts are offered in seven fit styles and a whole slew of colors and patterns, a classic for decades to come.

(Images via Zabou)

Saturdays Color Letters T-Shirts

Whether you love Saturdays Surf NYC or just Saturdays in general, it doesn't matter—this top is for you.  These color letters T-shirts are what weekends are made of. -Ally

Driftwood Demo

Join Grain Surfboards tomorrow evening at Art In The Age (116 N. 3rd St.) for a hands-on demonstration on the techniques they employ to make their beautiful wooden boards. For more info and to RSVP check the Facebook event page here. -Bob

Outlier Shorts

I really love these bright summer colors Outlier is putting out for their shorts and trunks. As much as I like a good pair of cut-offs in the summer, they're just too thick. Outlier's special fabric dries quick after the unexpected dip as well as wicks moisture on those brutally hot summer days. -Bob