Surfing tends to be more than just a passion - it has a way of becoming an entire way of life. Just ask brothers Fernando and Santi Aguerre who left Argentina for Cali in the 80s and founded Reef.
Inspired by the notoriously fabulous women who populate the beaches of South America, they highlighted that spicy and exotic element and dubbed it "Miss Reef". Miss Reef, whose face and identity were a mystery, brought intrigue to the surf lifestyle (to say nothing of the humble beach sandal) and rode the waves of popularity to become an icon in the global surfing community.
And while actually surfing might not be possible right now wherever you live, you can certainly bring some of the surf feel into your wardrobe with a pair of flats or boots from Reef and, of course, a bag! I love this Reef High Desert boot in grey as it would look picture-perfect with one of fall's cute full skirts or worn with my fave pair of boot-cuts & a dove-gray cashmere sweater & slouchy beanie, as would a pair of the Reef Winter Drift fringe mocs with fabric hand-woven by artisans in San Antontio Palapo in Guatamala. The roomy Weekender bag also features this same textile design and is one-of-a-kind; the proceeds help to provide a sustainable income for these artisans.
Supporting the local crafts industry is part of Reef's overall attempt to lessen their footprint, be more green and give back. Their Reef Redemption program is dedicated to "employing what we believe to be environmentally-conscious and socially-responsible business practices." Which includes using only water-based glues that are free of PVC (which is toxic and found in many commercial goods) and using recycled and organic textiles whenever possible. They also encourage their employees to give back by granting them paid time to volunteer at a non-profit organization of their choice. "We may just be passing through, but we're not doing it without a conscience," they add. "We are still surfers at heart. We create authentic and innovative products intended to nurture an incredibly fortunate lifestyle that involves surf, sensuality and a life filled with happiness."
- Lesley Scott[Note: This was written in collaboration with Reef. The words & product picks are mine.]