Sustainability has been part of the REEF DNA since the beginning. REEF founders, Santiago and Fernando Aguerre are surfers and beach lovers, and they did their best to create products with the least impact as possible. Today, over 37 years later, we continue these ideologies with even more emphasis because they are just as relevant now as they were then.
In 2007, REEF's mission was to incorporate renewable, recycled and/or organic materials whenever possible. This was also the time that REEF planted our flag to become 100% PVC Free, something that we can still claim to this day.
REEF has been using RPET webbing since the very first sandal in 1984. The Original Stripes! In Spring 2020, all of our toe posts, liners and webbing sandal straps were updated to 100% recycled polyester. This material is derived from post-consumer plastic bottles and is certified by a third party, the Global Recycling Standard.
Since REEF's inception in 1984 we have always used a percentage of recycled content in our EVA and rubber compounds. However, as of Spring 2021 we are launching an additional green EVA solution, a renewable sugarcane-based midsole.
This is a bio-based EVA derived from renewable sugar cane sourced from Brazil. The sugar cane is used to replace traditional petroleum oil. Our formula used 51% bio content making it carbon neutral as it helps to reduce greenhouse gases, while still being durable enough to maintain our current standards. This renewable midsole is products such as the Men's Drift Classic and the Women's Drift Away LE.
In addition to recycled materials, we also strive to select materials that are natural. Within our shoe line you will find that a majority of our liners are 100% Cotton. Additionally, genuine cork materials are used on select Women's sandals and on Men's and Women's shoe sock liners, such as the Vista Hi, and Cushion Sage.
Women's styles such as the Cushion Vista Braid also use a unique braided upper material that is a mix of PU and natural paper. Lastly, you will find a 100% natural jute braided strap used on the Women's Cushion Break.
100% of the leathers and suedes used on REEF products are sourced from tanneries that are Gold or Silver rated by the Leather Working Group. Ratings are awarded to tanneries that demonstrate environmental best practices and performance in leather production from chemical, water and waste management to energy used to hide traceability. Additionally, a majority of our leathers are also ISA Lite Leathers. Lite stands for "Low Impact to The Environment."
*Fun Fact: An average pair of shoes using ISA Lite leather saves over 8 gallons of water and 275 hours of lighting. Do the math! In 2019 alone, we purchased enough Lite leather to conserve 1 million gallons of water and 40 million hours of lighting! That's enough water to fill 1 and a half Olympic size swimming pools.