“Not everyone uses socks, not everyone uses clothing, not everyone uses forks…but somehow everyone—whether you’re living south, east, north, west—uses a towel day to day,” says Dorig Bocquet, CEO of LEUS.
But no one was paying attention to this billion-dollar industry, Bocquet says. That’s why he and his partners decided to redesign the “afterthought” product by launching LEUS. The Carlsbad, California-based company began in 2017 with a collection of surf towels and ponchos, and earlier this year debuted its golf towel collection. Bocquet said golf was a natural extension for the brand because many surfers are also active golfers, adding, “Every major surf break has a five-star resort with a golf course.”
With the motto “fun feels better,” LEUS creates lifestyle products ranging from yoga mat grip towels to beach blankets. Eclectic graphics, vibrant designs, and eye-catching patterns like tiger print and tie-dye ensure that consumers see towels more like a fashion accessory than a throwaway item. “We wanted to make sure that our concept behind the brand—our mantra—was going to be basic and yet connect everyone,” Bocquet explains. “And that’s why [we chose] fun. Because no matter who you are, you like having fun.”
And the brand is all about enjoying this fun—responsibly. LEUS towels are made from sustainably sourced materials according to standards set by Oeko-Tex, a worldwide independent testing system that certifies that textile products are free of any potentially harmful chemicals. This eco-consciousness is inherent to the life of the brand and its founders, who are all avid surfers. “We see the pollution around us,” Bocquet says. “This is about literally being in the water, waiting for the wave, and you’ve got a plastic bag passing by you…how can we make a product that’s not part of the problem but that also brings a solution?”
As the LEUS team consulted more and more scientists, their efforts started to become more complicated. “There’s another type of ocean pollution that no one talks about, which is microplastic pollution: When you wash your polyester garments, the fabric breaks away,” Bocquet said. He explained that washing machines are designed to filter out cotton fabrics, not polyester. So those teeny tiny bits of plastic fabric eventually find their way into the ocean, devastating fish and marine life.
To help combat this problem, LEUS will soon be introducing a bag that customers can use to wash their microfiber towels; the bags are designed to catch these microscopic breakaway fibers. Additionally, the LEUS team has been working with Repreve to develop a new blend using recycled fiber and cotton, which is designed to be resilient and shed less than cotton while still maintaining its soft feel and drying properties. Plus, your washing machine’s filter will be able to grab its flyway fibers.
The newly revamped towels will be available Jan. 15. LEUS also plans to expand into the outdoor and home industries within the next year because, as Bocquet explains, “there are as many types of towels in the world as there are types of humans.”