Surf Label Reef’s Eco-Friendly Sandals, Shoes and Bags

Reef’s fashions positively reek of sustainability. The premium surf brand believes in making a commitment to preserving our natural ecosystems through its many fashion initiatives. A company with a conscience since its founding in 1984, Reef shows this commitment through eco-friendly and socially responsible efforts such as using fabric manufactured from discarded coconut husks, organic foam that degrades easily in landfills and water-based glues in its line of casual, chic bags, sandals and shoes.

One of Reef’s mantras is reuse and recycle. From collecting scraps of eva (a flexible polymer used as a substitute for rubber and vinyl) to reuse to a 25 percent recycled rubber outsole that uses recycled tires and pre-consumer rubber waste, Reef’s products are eco-friendly inside and out. Its textiles are organic and free of the toxin PVC. Reef’s ECO ONE foam, an organic additive that speeds up biodegration in a landfill, allows 100 percent of eva components to biodegrade. The company even attempts to reduce its carbon foot print through its low-impact facilities, designed to minimize carbon emissions.

The eco-focused line has pioneered “Coconut Stretch,” a material fashioned from coconut husk waste, making its boardshorts from this fabric and recycled polyester for a style produced with 80-percent eco-conscious materials. Functional, odor-fighting and quick-drying, the yarn provides a green alternative to other non-renewable choices, as well as reusing husks destined for landfills. To develop a line of boardshorts with the fabric, Reef partnered with surfer and blogger Cyrus Sutton to manufacture Cy Stripe, a modern and vintage fashion effort ranging in price from $65 to $80.

And the list of sustainable practices continues with the brand’s sourcing. Through the Our We Heart initiative, Reef uses textiles hand woven by artisans in developing countries such as Guatemala and Uganda. In addition to receiving an income, skilled craftspeople can share their fashionable products, contribute to sustainable practices and build their communities.

“Conscientious consumption is an emerging practice we firmly believe in. Our We Heart Collection promotes empowering women and sustaining communities through commerce,” Reef director of women’s footwear Kelley Bruemmer said.

Launched in January, Reef’s “We Heart Togo” project sources from Togo for its traditional African print batiking, collaborating with women to furnish several styles for the Bella Costas shoe line. Famous for its lack of employment opportunities for women, the tiny West African country is home to a woman named Chantel, who with the income from Reef was able to open a new shop and employ another seven women.

On the corporate level, Reef also puts its money where its mouth is, donating a percent of its proceeds to humanitarian and environmental causes through its Culture of Giving fund. Furthermore, each Reef employee can give back by taking paid time to volunteer at a charity of his or her choosing. At its headquarters, the surf label further demonstrates its dedication to our planet with paperless meetings, a ban on plastic water bottles and energy-efficient lighting.

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