Fashion Meets Function: Introducing the FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie

At Film Never Die we love pushing the boundaries of film photography and innovating the way analogue technologies can collide with the modern world. We are proud of some of the innovations we have already made as a company, such as the CP800 colour processor and our new Nana Camera, which will be unveiled later this year.

Today we want to introduce the FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie, one of our latest inventions. The dual function hoodie combines modern day style and everyday comfort with another purpose entirely- functioning as a darkbag!

The light sealed hoodie design came about as a collaboration between FilmNeverDie and Melbourne based designer Jacob Mullins. We know the Darkbag Hoodie will hold a huge appeal to film photographers, especially those who home develop, as well as the fashion conscious- you can’t go wrong with a classic black hoodie! Read along on this blog to learn all about how the Darkbag Hoodie came to life, and how to use it for its dual purpose.

What is a darkbag?

A darkbag, also known as a changing bag is an essential piece of kit in a film photographer’s arsenal. It is a light-sealed, portable bag that allows film photographers to handle light sensitive materials such as film, without exposing them to light. This tool is typically made from durable, opaque fabric that provides a safe environment to load and unload film, fix jams and perform other tasks that require complete darkness.

The FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie takes this concept to the next level by integrating the functionality and tradition of a dark bag into a stylish and wearable garment. Whether you are changing film in a remote location or handling a delicate process at home, the Darkbag Hoodie ensures your film remains protected from accidental fogging or light leaks, all while keeping you comfortable and looking great.

Image of traditional darkbag by Paterson Photographic

Traditional Darkbag from (C) Paterson Photographic Equipment

Why you need a Darkbag Hoodie

Film photography enthusiasts know the struggle of finding a suitable environment to handle film without exposing it to light- unless you have a purpose built space it can be tricky. A dark cupboard, a bathroom, even desperately trying to find a dark enough space under your bed covers- we have all been there! Whilst these spaces can provide some darkness, it is difficult to guarantee their complete effectiveness- and who wants to risk their precious film?! Especially when travelling with film, or staying somewhere new, the Darkbag Hoodie gives you some peace of mind of absolute darkness. 

Darkbag hoodie modelled by Jassim Ashoor against brown background
The Darkbag Hoodie modelled by one of the FilmNeverDie Team @j.ashoor

The FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie addresses this challenge with a unique and practical solution. Here is why you need this piece of innovative gear:

Light Protection on the Go: The Darkbag Hoodie provides a convenient, portable darkroom solution. Whether you’re on a shoot or travelling, you can confidently handle and change film without the risk of light leaks, thanks to its fully light-sealed design. You will be the hero of photowalks! Rescuing any film photographer in need of urgent darkness or reloading their film.

Versatility and Convenience: Unlike traditional dark bags, this hoodie combines fashion with function. It’s not just a tool but a stylish and comfortable garment you can wear daily. When the need arises, it transforms seamlessly into a dark bag, saving you the hassle of carrying extra equipment.

Perfect for Remote Locations: When shooting in remote or outdoor locations, setting up a darkroom or finding a dark space can be challenging. The Darkbag Hoodie ensures you’re always prepared, no matter where your photography takes you.

Enhanced Creativity and Efficiency: By eliminating the worry of finding or setting up a dark space, you can focus more on your creative process. This hoodie allows you to handle film quickly and efficiently, enhancing your overall workflow and productivity.

Supporting Film Photography: Embracing tools like the Darkbag Hoodie supports the film photography community by encouraging more people to continue or start using film. It’s a nod to the timeless art of film photography, keeping the tradition alive in a modern and innovative way.

With the FilmNeverdie Darkbag Hoodie, you get the best of both worlds: a practical photography tool and a stylish piece of clothing. It’s a great addition to any film photographer’s toolkit, providing peace of mind and enhancing your ability to capture stunning images on film.

Here is Gary, talking about the Darkbag Hoodie!


What Makes the FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie Special?

FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie modelled by the designer Jacob Mullins

The FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie modelled by its designer, @jacobmull

The FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie stands out thanks to its clever blend of practicality and style. It is crafted from heavyweight black cotton with a smooth Lycra lining, offering both comfort and durability. The hoodie itself is completely light sealed. It has strategically placed zips and velcro strips at the hood and base, ensuring no light leaks when handling the film.

The hoodie features a premium embroidered logo and front-facing pockets, combining functionality with a sleek, modern design. It is made entirely in Australia from locally sourced materials, and we are proud of its quality and sustainable production.

Made in Australia: Locally Sourced and Manufactured

The FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie is proudly made in Australia, reflecting our commitment to local manufacturing and sustainability. We partnered with Creation Collective Co, an inclusive design and manufacturing studio that celebrates fashion creatives at all stages of their career. Founded in 2021, Creation Collective Co is tailored for independent and emerging labels, valuing artisan construction techniques and sustainable, ethical processes.

Creation Collective Co’s dedication to craftsmanship and the creation process aligns perfectly with our vision. Their bespoke, detail-oriented, couture background sets them apart from other manufacturers, catering especially to brands requiring lower volumes and those concerned with their environmental impact. By working with Creation Collective Co, we ensure our hoodie is produced with meticulous attention to detail, high-quality standards, and minimal environmental footprint.

Choosing the FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie means supporting a product that embodies the best of Australian ingenuity and sustainable manufacturing practices. Through our collaboration with Creation Collective Co, we foster long-term connections and support a creative, inclusive environment for independent and emerging designers to thrive.

Fashion Meets Function: Introducing the Filmneverdie Darkbag Hoodie| initial sketchup of the Darkbag Hoodie Design
One of Jacob Mullin's initial sketches for the Darkbag Hoodie design

How to Use: A Practical Guide for Film Photographers

Using the FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie is simple and intuitive, making it an essential tool for film photographers. Here’s a practical guide to help you get the most out of your hoodie:

Using the Darkbag Function: When you need to handle your film, or camera, place the items you need inside the hoodie body. Next, zip up the hoodie completely and secure the Velcro strips at the hood and base to create a light-sealed environment. You can use the front-facing pockets to store small tools or accessories. Insert your hands back through the sleeves until they are inside the hoodie body, now you can solve all your film photography conundrums in a light sealed environment.

Everyday Wear: When not in use as a dark bag, the hoodie functions as a stylish and comfortable piece of clothing. Its durable materials make it suitable for various weather conditions, and its classic design ensures you look good while staying practical.

Maintenance: To keep your hoodie in top condition, follow the care instructions provided. Regularly check the zips and Velcro for wear and tear and clean the hoodie as needed to maintain its light-sealed properties.

By following these simple steps, you can effectively use the FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie as both a photography tool and an everyday garment. It’s designed to make your film photography experience smoother and more convenient, whether you’re in the studio or out in the field.

Design Details: From Concept to Creation

The Darkbag Hoodie was born out of a conversation in a Chinese restaurant (where all good ideas come to life!). We asked ourselves the question ‘Can you wear a darkbag? Is that possible?’. The answer is yes!

This is where the mad ideas of the FilmNeverDie team and the genius design brain of Jacob Mullins collided, and we began to turn the concept into a reality. We worked with manufacturer Creation Collective Co, a sustainable fashion design and manufacturing studio in Melbourne, to bring the hoodie into the real world!


Read on below for our interview with Jacob, and learn all about the design process.

Interview with the Darkbag Hoodie Designer: Jacob Mullins

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background in design?

So, Hello! My name is Jacob, and I am a fashion and object designer from Melbourne. I started studying fashion design formally earlier this year. Prior to that I had been doing it for about a year just as a hobby while working odd jobs. 

What inspired you to create the FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie?

This project began with a conversation between Gary and I over dinner once. He pitched me the idea of a hypothetical darkbag that could be worn like a piece of clothing. A darkbag is basically a large cube made of nylon with two sleeves in it. This idea of a wearable darkbag was intriguing, so I set out exploring what form it could take, and eventually landed on an oversized, boxy hoodie.

What was the main purpose behind designing a light-sealed hoodie?

The purpose of this project was to create a portable wearable darkbag. In my experience working at FilmNeverDie, there were many examples of people wanting to develop film at home. There were also many photographers who would frequently travel to take photos. By having a portable darkbag we solve both of these problems, all the while creating a comfortable and wearable piece of clothing.

Can you walk us through the design process of the Darkbag Hoodie?

So the design process began by finding out what the necessary elements of a darkbag were. They were that it had to be light sealed in its fabric, and in its hardware (zips, fastenings etc). The second step was finding a form that met those requirements. Darkbags typically are quite large, so I had to find a form that was big enough to hold patterson tanks, cameras and tools, this led me to ideas around jackets, sweaters and hoodies.

I was walking down Smith Street in Collingwood, and saw a kid with a hoodie that the hood zipped up closed. He had his hood on, zipped up halfway so just his nose and eyes were peeking out, I remember it had like a skull on it or something. I saw that and said bingo! I’ve got it. A big baggy hoodie with a zip up hood. 

After that I did some sketches on Illustrator, then with the help of my mum, made a pattern from an existing hoodie I had. We then found some fabric, and made a prototype. 

The first prototype was not light sealed enough, which was also the case for the second and third prototypes. Meaning we had to experiment with different materials and construction techniques in order to nail the light sealing. This was by far the most difficult part of this project.

Fashion Meets Function: Introducing the FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie| Jacob testing initial hoodie concepts
Jacob testing initial Darkbag Hoodie concepts

What materials did you choose for the hoodie, and why?

We had to try out heaps of different materials to make sure we could find one that was both light proof and comfortable. For the final sample, we ended up having a high GSM cotton outer layer, and for the lining, we had it made of lycra. The finishings are thick plastic zips on the hood and base, with velcro strips at either end.

How did you ensure the hoodie is completely light-sealed?

We had to put the hoodie through multiple rounds of testing to ensure it was light sealed, and we ensured it was light sealed through its layers of fabric, the zips and the velcro. We had to make the lining lycra, as it does not create light leaks when stretched, like most other woven fabrics do. After finding a fabric that is not light emitting, we had to make sure that the zips blocked out light, and added velcro to the hood and the base. Most of these choices we took from existing dark bags which are completely light sealed.

What are some unique features of the hoodie that set it apart from other photography accessories?

First off, from my understanding, there isn't anything like this out there. There isn't a darkbag that is wearable, so by that nature it's set completely apart from other photography accessories, so it's difficult to compare it to other accessories. Just the fact that it's multi-functional and can be considered both an accessory and garment is what makes it unique.

Fashion Meets Function: Introducing the FilmNeverdie Darkbag Hoodie| Jacob modelling the DarkBag Hoodie with the hood zipped up
Looking cool, here is Jacob modelling the Darkbag Hoodie with the hood zipped up!

Why was it important to you to manufacture the hoodie in Australia using locally sourced materials?

So the reason I chose to manufacture in Australia was because what we were trying to make was so technical, it would have been difficult to explain it to the manufacturer without actually showing them a darkbag and explaining in person how a darkbag works. I felt that we would likely have to go through multiple samples (which we did) and if that was the case, then the whole process would take long if we had to wait for each sample to arrive in Aus and then send back with amendments. I was aware we would have to make multiple prototypes, so having an Australian manufacturer made this process quicker and more sustainable, as less air miles were involved. 

How did you balance comfort and functionality in the design of the hoodie?

Both are great. I wanted to give the hoodie a larger size so it could fit all of the film tools in it. This gives the hoodie an oversized, baggy fit. That element of the design was a win win. However the biggest challenge in balancing the fit and comfort of the darkbag hoodie was finding a lining fabric that was both comfortable and light sealed. Ultimately we had to lean more on the side of light sealed as the hoodie would be functionless without it. That being said I am still happy with how it turned out and I think the lycra lining is actually quite warm and comfortable.

Can you describe the fit of the hoodie and who it’s designed to suit?

So we only really had to budget to produce one size at this stage, so its designed for people who either have a bigger body type, or people looking for a baggy fit. I found that I saw mostly baggy hoodies when out in public, and I saw all kinds of bodies wearing them which influenced my decision to make them. Hoodies are also by default unisex, meaning the DB hoodie is for everyone!

What tips do you have for photographers using the Darkbag Hoodie in the field?

Don't forget to close the zip and velcro when developing film inside! Also be careful with the wearing of the darkbag and treat it kindly. While it is a durable garment, the outer is still cotton, meaning it can tear if it comes across sharp objects or snags on anything. 

What do you hope users take away from their experience with the Darkbag Hoodie?

I hope that people find value in its multi use, and I hope that by owning a DB hoodie it encourages people to go out and shoot more, in the same way a new pair of sneakers makes you want to run more, something like that.

Tips for Wearing the Darkbag Hoodie

To get the most out of your FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Material Considerations: The hoodie features Lycra for its excellent light-proof properties, but it’s not the most breathable fabric. This means the hoodie can get warm and sweaty, especially on hotter days. To stay comfortable, consider wearing it inside-out with the cotton side facing out when the weather is warm. The cotton layer is slightly more breathable and comfortable for such conditions.

Hair Care: If you have long hair, be mindful of the Velcro strips, especially around the hood. Hair can easily get caught in the Velcro, which can be uncomfortable and damaging. To avoid this, secure your hair before fastening the hood or consider wearing a cap or bandana.

Share the Love: Your friends might get a bit jealous on photowalks when seeing you rock your dual purpose Darkbag Hoodie! Let them have a go, or even come to their rescue in emergency film photography situations. Share the love and point them to FilmNeverDie so they can get their own! Spread the word and help fellow photographers discover this game-changing gear.

Embrace the FilmNeverDie Ethos with the Darkbag Hoodie

The FilmNeverDie Darkbag Hoodie is more than just a piece of clothing- it is a versatile tool that embodies the spirit of film photography. It combines style, comfort and functionality. We have designed it to meet the needs of both professional film photographers and enthusiasts alike. Whether you are a keen home developer, or simply love a bit of film photography merch- this hoodie is for you! Made in Australia with locally sourced materials and crafted by the skilled hands at Creation Collective Co, it represents a commitment to quality, sustainability and ethical manufacturing.

By choosing the Darkbag Hoodie, you are investing in a fun and practical solution for your film handling needs, as well as supporting local craftsmanship and sustainable practices. Embrace the FIlmNeverDie ethos and join a community that loves and believes in the timeless art of film photography.

As always, if you have any questions about the Darkbag Hoodie or any of FilmNeverDie's services, feel free to reach out to us at

Fashion Meets Function: Introducing the FilmNeverdie Darkbag Hoodie| Jassim modelling the darkbag hoodie outside holding a camera

The Darkbag Hoodie modelled by one of the FilmNeverDie Team @j.ashoor

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