by Maddy Zollo Rusbosin | March 29, 2018

Made in FLA: Waterlust Designs with Science Flare

A Miami company merges science with style to make you care about water


A scientist at Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF) takes a photo ID of a satellite tagged whale shark wearing the Waterlust Whale Shark Warrior leggings. Photography by MMF

After his first year in a doctoral program at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, Patrick Rynne was looking for exciting ways to help others engage with science. Deciding to merge his love of marine studies with his passion for video and social media, he filmed an experiment on riptides and posted it on YouTube. Soon after, Waterlust, a Miami-based content company, was born.

Relying on film and photography, Waterlust sheds light on issues affecting Florida’s waters and wildlife. “A big part of it has to do with how Floridians embrace the marine environment as part of everyday life and in education systems,” Rynne says of the brand’s mission.

Waterlust partners Patrick Rynne and Fiona Graham aboard their self-made 17-foot sailing canoe. Photography by Waterlust

To further its reach, Waterlust produces sustainable gear out of recycled plastic bottles. The leggings, shorts, sun masks and T-shirts, many of which have a 50-plus ultraviolet protection factor, are designed for wet adventures like diving, swimming, paddling and surfing. They’re printed with patterns like tiger shark, whale shark and coral. Each print originated as photography taken on a research outing to the springs or the ocean, and a portion of the proceeds from all sales benefits scientific organizations.

“Very rarely do people digest content more than once, so it has limited impact. Whereas with the clothing, if you order a certain pair of leggings with a certain print, every time you wear that you’re going to think about the issue,” says Rynne. “We find that our audience really becomes advocates to the issue.”