Have you heard of Reef’s ‘We Heart Collection’ yet? It’s an ongoing collaboration between Reef’s design team and talented artisans from developing countries around the world, designed to provide a platform for these artisans to grow their businesses, to build stronger communities, and to share their beautiful crafts with the world obviously. At the moment Reef are collaborating with designers from Guatemala, Togo and Uganda. Here’s what the guys at Reef have to say about these different places and their project there… oh, and don’t forget to check out the super rad results of everyone’s hard work, some of our favourite flip flops of the summer…
Handcrafted Batik Fabric from Togo
Growing up in Togo, Africa, women are provided with little opportunity. While living in a small hut with her whole family, Chantal decided to take her fate into her own hands by obtaining a small loan to get a proper education and start a business using the traditional artisan craft of Batik.
Handcrafted Guatemala Fabric/Threads/Beads
In the 1980s civil war ravaged Guatemala. Unable to tell the peaceful from the rebels, the Guatemalan army tore through the highlands killing many innocent Mayan men. In this process, many women lost their husbands leaving them the primary breadwinners for their families. Rather than succumb to fear or desperation, the women started banding together to create craft cooperatives pooling resources and sharing the work. In the tiny village of Chuacruz, the women formed Waqxaqib (place of weaving). This cooperative has now been operating for over three decades passing work from grandmother to mother to daughter.
Handcrafted Beads from Uganda
Reef has partnered with 31bits, an organization that aids the entrepreneurial spirit of displaced women in Uganda, to create the Ugandal sandal. Reef has pre-purchased the women’s handcrafted beads made of recycled magazine paper to adorn the sandal.