South African sneaker brand, Corks was the first of its kind in South Africa to release a shoe range made out of cork. Now, the company has launched its unisex hemp sneaker range on the back of its rebranding campaign.
Following on from the shoe brand’s ethos ‘developed from nature for nature’, founder and owner Seb Matheson says, “with the ever increasing demand, and positive benefits of hemp products, we thought it would be fitting to use such a material in a sneaker.”
Trading under their new name, REEFER sources fabric from Hemporium in South Africa. Hemp is imported, mostly from China. South Africa has not yet issued a licence to grow hemp commercially. Once this happens, it is likely that hemp will be grown for medicine, food and construction before fabric.
“Hemp fabric fibre is so easy to grow, so soft and attractive and so loaded with excellent natural properties that it seems almost custom-designed to provide our planet with an incredibly versatile, sustainable material. Hemp fabric provides all the softness of a natural textile but with a strength that is an amazing three times higher than cotton – making it uniquely hard-wearing and long-lasting,” says Seb.
Like their Corks range, REEFER’s hemp range’s soles are made from TPR rubber (a thermoplastic rubber that has the melting and moulding properties of plastic) and the laces are organic cotton sourced from Asia. Hemps are available in steel and black which customers will be able to purchase via their new online store. Ordering online is super easy, safe and efficient.
About REEFER Seb says, “Our sneaker company is all about finding a balance between beauty, function and positive impact. We want to reinvent, recreate and reimagine how we go about producing products. Making sure that sustainability – not only from a material point of view – is at the forefront of what we do. Creating sustainability through supply chain, local job creation and an environment that is conducive to longevity.”
For the first week after the company’s relaunch, customers will be able to purchase a pair of hemp sneakers online and receive a 10% discount. Place an order online and expect to receive your sneakers within one to three days.