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DOING IT RIGHT – HOW RECIF CLOTHING IS COMMITTED TO RESTORING CORAL REEFS

@recif.clothing

November, 4th 2020

Recif, an eco clothing brand, and its founder, Constant Muller-Bronn, sat down with Staiy to discuss the hard work, dedication, and challenges that come with a sustainable clothing company. In a major effort to restore coral reefs, stimulate local economies, and produce quality clothing, Constant discusses in great depth what it is like to do things right even if it doesn’t happen the first time.

Words By Shannon Rice

“Success isn’t about getting it right the first time, it’s about doing it until you get it right”

@recif.clothing

Constant has found himself in just about every corner of the world, working in many different industries and being a true testament to not getting it right the first time. Starting as an engineer, then onto sales in charge of Hugo Boss fragrances, he has compiled an eclectic variety of skills and invaluable experience that have led him on to Recif.

“We finally decided, why not make clothing? We wanted to create something that would give back to the environment and that was also a simple product that customers would love,” Constant explains. After two years of brainstorming, testing and much deliberation, Recif was born. “It is a unique project that, at its core, was made to protect nature. We wanted to shake up the industry that does the most polluting, and that is the fashion industry.”

Recif, which means ‘reef’ in french, translates directly into the project’s mission: to protect and restore coral reefs. “When you buy something, you should give something back in return,” states the French entrepreneur. He developed the project with the idea of helping local economies in areas where coral reefs need restoring, looking at which areas needed the most attention.

With COVID, Constant’s plans were up in the air: “We had to change our mind three times.” After launching on Kickstarter – a crowdfunding platform – Recif raised thousands of dollars. Even with the pressure of hundreds of investors depending on him, Constant was not about to compromise his values on ethics and sustainability. The initial store location was in Bali, then in the Philippines, and then he considered his home terrain in Marseille. “A lot of brands are just promising to plant a tree but this is a lot simpler than what I am trying to execute. I have a lot of people putting their financial trust in me but I will always be fully transparent, even if that means trying again and again until I get it right,” Constant discloses, impressing Staiy with his dedication to Recif’s values. “That’s the way I want to do it. I had hoped to be one of the first brands to do it right from the start……but it’s a mess! I don’t sleep a lot. You have to invest a lot of money so at the moment it’s not easy, the returns on the investments are not yet there.”

On top of his project of rebuilding coral reefs, Constant is simultaneously designing and sourcing all the materials for his brand’s products. What started as boardshorts to connect consumers with the sea has evolved into a selection of sweatshirts and t-shirts with a deeper meaning. At the beginning, Constant was faced with another major challenge: “I was creating fabrics from 100% recycled plastic. My t-shirts, my sweatshirts, everything I developed was with this recycled polyester fabric. Then I noticed that, actually, when you wash it, it releases microplastics. So essentially, I was contributing to the problem.” He realized he needed another production strategy. “I had to develop [the fabrics] myself. This is why it took me a long time. And I have to say, when you do this kind of project, no one knows this really, people are not educated enough yet [about sustainable fabrics]. I now use organic cotton and recycled cotton waste.”

@recif.clothing

It is not often that one sees this level of transparency in fashion brands, especially when it involves admitting to past mistakes. Constant is a prime example of “success isn’t about doing it right the first time”. His commitment to coral reefs and producing sustainable products is astounding and inspiring. Recif is setting the bar high for all sustainable brands around the globe through its transparency, hard work and dedication to protecting the planet.

Shop RECIF. Clothing

Recif.

T-Shirt Recyclé et Bio –

Made in France

Recif.

Backpack Océan –

fabriqué en plastique marin recyclé

Recif.

Sweatshirt Recyclé et Bio –

Made in France

Recif.

Shorts de Bain

en plastique marin recyclé