Reef, a Carlsbad, Calif., manufacturer of sandals and surfing wear, sponsors the annual Reef Hawaiian Pro surfing competition, bringing surfing fanatics from around the globe to the first stop on the Vans Triple Crown of surfing. Vinyl banners from this and other sponsored events once ended up in landfills, until Reef launched its Reef Redemption™ Project in 2012. Working with Relan, a company in Mendota Heights, Minn., that upcycles used vinyl banners into unique bags and other products, Reef Redemption Project saved 5,000 square feet of vinyl from disposal. Relan transformed the Reef Hawaiian Pro banners into soft-sided coolers, iPad cases and grocery totes.
Surfing is sustained by nature, and Reef is committed to environmentally conscious, socially responsible and sustainable business practices. The banner re-use also has practical business advantages. Marketing dollars spent on banners give added value, recycled products with the Reef Hawaiian Pro identity serve as “walking ads” for the company, and Reef creates stronger bonds with surfing fans who can take home a usable reminder of a really great time. Relan also re-purposed billboard and banner material from the March 2013 Unite America in Service event in Washington, D.C., into luggage tags, wallets and totes provided as thank-you gifts to volunteers.