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Reef Crafts $150 Flip Flops With Wood, Leather and Sugarcane

Beach-inspired footwear brand Reef will debut its “most upscale offering ever” later this month.

A heel-stabilizing wooden frame will give the $150 Paipo flip flop its “signature look,” Reef said. The sandal will also feature a full-grain leather strap sourced from tanneries with gold and silver ratings from the Leather Working Group as well as a sugarcane-based EVA in the footbed.

“What makes the Paipo so extraordinary is that it combines old world craftsmanship with hi-tech manufacturing processes,” Paul LaBarbera, Reef’s senior director of footwear design, said in a statement. “Our goal from the start was to integrate a functional wood component that would meet the highest standard of quality, durability, and finishing…but like a piece of furniture would become even more beautiful with age.”

Reef designed the flip flop with high anatomic arches “for all around comfort all day long,” it said. Hand-stitched toe posts wrapped in full-grain leather provide additional support. Other details include laser etching on the heel and a metal logo insignia. It will come in two colorways, black and brown, and launch on Reef’s website Aug. 24.

“The Paipo is an unprecedented product story, a sandal inspired by iconic design and brought to life with the most premium, natural materials available,” Reef president Mike Jensen said in a statement. “I’ve never seen a team work with more passion and excitement to bring a product to life, and it’s well reflected in the unique details and premium craftsmanship used in the Paipo.”

The Paipo—described by Reef as “one of the most premium eco-friendly offerings on the market”—joins a slew of footwear styles using sugarcane EVA to decrease its carbon footprint. Allbirds began using the material in 2018, first in flip flops, but now also in a range of closed-toe silhouettes. The Ibi Slip-On from Cariuma—which it billed as the “world’s lowest carbon footprint sneaker” when it launched in March—utilized a sugarcane EVA outsole. Even Walmart has gotten on board with sugarcane, launching this week an intimates line using the Brazilian-sourced raw material.

Brands continue to whittle away at their products’ environmental impact. Adidas and Allbirds unveiled the results of a year-long endeavor to create a performance shoe with the lowest carbon emissions possible. Though as-yet unreleased to the wider public, the Futurecraft.Footprint’s 2.94-kilogram carbon footprint dramatically cuts down on the 5.48 kilograms Cariuma boasted of just weeks earlier. Like much of Allbirds’ own shoe lineup, the sneaker featured a sugarcane-based EVA in the midsole.