Reefer sustainable gender-neutral shoes were created by Capetonian Seb Matheson in 2019. The uppers of Reefer sneakers are made from durable, eco-friendly cork and hemp fabrics. The shoelaces are organic cotton and the soles are recyclable. All the dyes are “less heavy metal dyes”, making them better for the environment. These shoes are vegan friendly and also packaged in recyclable boxes. Read More
Reefer sneakers are handmade in Durban in a family-run factory that has been operating for 70 years. The quality of the craftsmanship is world-class.
Materials are sustainably sourced – the cork is farmed without harming the trees and hemp is a fabric that takes very little water and pesticides to produce. The soles of the shoes are made from a combination of TR and rubber which is fully recyclable.
Seb appreciates how challenging it can be to find sneakers that prioritise both ethics and the environment and yet are stylish and desirable. It hasn’t been an easy journey for the brand. “It’s so difficult to source materials and manufacture certain components locally,” says Seb. And it’s an ongoing process of evolution. The Reefer Shoes team continues to research and find innovative ways to improve all aspects of the sustainability credentials of their sneakers.
“Our sneaker company is all about finding a balance between beauty, function and positive impact. We want to reinvent, recreate and re-imagine how we go about producing products. Making sure that sustainability – not only from a materials point of view – is at the forefront of what we do. [We also seek to] create sustainability through the supply chain, local job creation and an environment that is conducive to longevity.”