How can shopping save the planet? Check out these four earth-friendly surf companies we love!!!!!
“According to EcoWatch, the fashion industry is the second dirtiest industry in the world, behind only oil and gas. I have yet to find stats on how the surf industry’s apparel production process actually contributes to this, but it’s safe to assume that regardless of the size of its contribution, it’s not great for the environment or future surfers. In addition to the widespread environmental damage caused by apparel, it is estimated that the annual production of roughly 750,000 new surfboards, creates around 220,000 tons of CO2 emissions as well. So whether it’s the clothes we wear or the gear we use, a surfing lifestyle isn’t as eco-friendly as many of us would like. In an industry that relies on maintaining the health of our natural environment in order to thrive, something has to be done.” – The Inertia
So what are surf companies doing to make a difference. Here are our favorite companies making a difference?
In 2018 Reef pledged to focus their efforts towards plastic pollution policy initiatives by founding the Surfrider x Reef “Better Beach Alliance.” Through this program, Reef promotes and collects data from beach cleanups nationally to inform and ultimately influence environmental legislation at the local, statewide and national level. So far, Reef has removed over 220,000 pounds of trash in over 800 clean-ups. Reef is also a long-term partner of the Rob Machado Foundation. They committed to helping to support their mission to educate and empower young people to make sustainable choices for life. They have funded water filtration stations in public schools across San Diego county and the state of Hawaii encouraging reusable bottles over single-use plastic.
On a corporate level, All single-use plastic in their office has been removed – no plastic water bottles, cups, plates, or utensils. New energy efficient motion sensor and LED lights throughout the building result in approximately 20% less electricity used to operate at the same capacity. In 2018, Reef updated all of our product packaging bags to include Eco-One. Eco-One®, by Ecologic, LLC. Eco-One is an organic additive that enhances the biodegradation process through a series of chemical and biological processes when disposed of in a biologically active landfill (appropriate facilities may not be available in all areas). A normal plastic bag could take hundreds of years to breakdown, but with Eco-One, this bag will biodegrade over time, potentially shortening the time span the plastic would have occupied in the landfill space to several years instead of hundreds. To learn more about Eco-One, click here.
By saving energy and water throughout their products creation process, they’re lessening their carbon footprint on the planet – and you’re helping to do it when you purchase a Reef product!
All of Reef’s leather products feature ISA LITE leather. LITE leather is Low Impact to Environment Leather. Leathers made through the traditional tanning process uses about 65% more energy and 50% more water than LITE leather. Reef sandals uses pvc-free plastics and an organic foam that biodegrades faster in landfills. Reef also has developed and incorporated Coconut Stretch, a material made from discarded coconut husks, into their boardshorts along with recycled polyester.
Not only has Reef been around for decades, but they are still manufacturing quality goods with both style and environment in mind.
2. RAW ELEMENTS
June 1 will will now be known as World Reef Day. This day was designed as an initiative by Raw Elements to reflect on the delicate ecosystem of our ocean’s coral reefs and prevent further reef loss. Raw Elements is a 1% for The Planet member that has pioneered the reef-conscious movement with it’s certified-natural, non-nano zinc oxide-based sunscreens. Last year they partnered with Hawaiian Airlines and Aqua-Aston Hospitality to make a larger impact.
“Hawaiian Airlines will celebrate World Reef Day on the ground and at 35,000 feet by distributing complimentary Raw Elements sunscreen samples on all flights to Hawaii from North America, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland and Papeete from May 25 – June 1. Guests will also be able to purchase specially-priced sunscreen products from the airline’s Pau Hana cart and learn more about World Reef Day via a new educational video available on all flights operated by the Airbus A330 aircraft.”, according to Shop Eat Surf
Raw Elements is kicking off World Reef Day with a month of initiatives. They hope to spur conversations and encourage actions to support sustainability. New legislation will go into effect in Hawaii and Key West, Florida in January 2021. Plus, recent proposed bills in the state of Florida, Bonaire, Palau and Aruba,are working to ban the use of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate (two chemicals that have been shown to be damaging to coral reefs).
1. Use reef-safe sunscreen
2. Reduce single-use plastics
3. Spread the message
The 4Ocean story began when the founders, Alex and Andrew, took a surf trip to Bali, Indonesia. They were devastated by the amount of plastic in the ocean. So, they set out to find out why no one was doing anything about it.
“One afternoon they came across an old fishing village where fishermen were literally pushing their boat through piles of plastic that had washed up on shore. The two surfers realized that the proliferation of plastic threatened both the ocean environment and the fishermen’s livelihood. Could the fishermen use their nets, they wondered, to pull the plastic from the ocean? This idea stuck with the 2 surfers and they knew it was time to hit the drawing board. After realizing that the demand for seafood was driving the fishermen to focus on fish instead of plastic, they knew they had to create something that could fund the desired cleanup efforts. This is how the 4Ocean Bracelet was born.” – 4Ocean
Made with recycled materials, every bracelet purchased funds the removal of 1 pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines. In less than 2 years, 4Ocean has removed 4,285,061 pounds of trash from the ocean and coastlines. 4Ocean currently operates out of multiple countries and employs over 150 people worldwide.
Vissla strives to minimize their environmental impact while ‘protecting the oceans and waves that raised us.‘ Vissla makes an ongoing effort to minimize their environmental impact by improving their products and practices through more sustainable materials and means. They choose fabrics that incorporate from coconut husks, recycled bottles and recycled polyester yarn that will quickly degrade in a landfill. They are working to make wetsuits more and more environmentally friendly with natural rubber instead of neoprene, water-based glues rather than solvent-based materials for laminating & recycled plastic bottles used for the interior & exterior jerseys. Vissla also uses sustainable packaging. (see image below) And, to give back, Vissla supports an army of sustainable ambassadors and innovators and is fully committed ‘to protect and surf’ the oceans. They also sponsor environmental initiatives that include it’s ‘Upcycle Contest‘, environmental surf tips, and Ecology Center.
“In 2015, Vissla signed on to become a Surfrider Foundation Surf lndustry Coastal Defender. This coalition of like-minded surf industry brands have joined forces to ensure our water is clean and beaches are healthy for generations to come.”