Our "Surfing Butterflies" art was created by Em (Owner/designer of eMpulse), as usual. Her 80s/90s style, love for surfing, and inner child came together to create this unique and colorful graphic.

Years back, Em used to nanny as she was starting eMpulse. One day during art and crafts time (her fave) she created this drawing that the kids helped her color in. “Creating with children really allowed me embrace my inner child without judgement”, says Em about that day. Many of her graphics are impulsive drawings or doodles that pop into her mind, which is how she got the name for the brand (Em + impuse = eMpulse). She holds onto her doodles and drawings as ideas to develop into a possible graphics for future styles. The “Surfing Butterflies” drawing was one of those special drawings she held onto.

Emily believes that embracing your inner child helps facilitate creativity, exploration, and your imagination. These are all parts of us that can feel suppressed as we get older due to societal norms or the pressure of “growing up”. We are all children here on this Earth learning and growing each day. It’s important to stay in touch with your inner child to continue to explore, image, and dream. This graphic represents this, and at the same time, the beauty that can come with change. Much of which we need to see in our world.


The Printing Process

We worked with a local printing team down the street, in San Diego, CA, to hand print this colorful design with a process called silk screen printing. We used water based inks, which is the most eco-friendly textile ink on the market. Em used to print all of her shirts in the garage, but is thankful to have some help with production with her friends right down the street.


Sustainable fashion is a main mission of the brand, and we are excited to have found a new production team that made our organic cotton t-shirts, using fair trade and local production.We are proud to have full transparency from growing the crop to the last stitch in the design.

These buttery soft t-shirts are 100% certified organic, which means no pesticides are used to farm this product. Not only is that good for the environment, but it is also good for the farmers and surrounding community.

We are so excited to partner with this new production team in North Carolina, where the organic cotton is grown, the fabric is woven, and our t-shirts were sewn. This is not only amazing for transparency in production, but having this production completed in one location helps reduce carbon emissions. 

We also value minimizing (if not eliminating) chemicals in production of clothing. Not only does our new team avoid pesticides in their farming, but they also use eco-friendly low impact dyes, which are deemed nontoxic. If pure botanical dyes are not available, these low impact dyes are a good step in the direction of sustainable fashion. This production team also perpetually recycles their water so there is never any harmful water run off. Run off water with synthetic dyes has been our biggest concern and hesitation in using them. To perpetually recycle water is such an innovative practice, which we haven’t been able to find anywhere else. We are so excited to have not only full transparency with this design, but confidence in the low environmental impact it has as a whole. 

Thank you for supporting our wearable art and sustainable fashion mission here at eMpulse! 


Constantly Questioning the Norm,


Em & the eMpulse Team


March 03, 2022 — Emily Karrer