The Reef

Fashion and the oceans

Sustainability has always been front and center at Maakola. Celebrating the beauty of coral reefs, our latest print reminds us why.
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The Coral Reef fabric

Our newest arrival, the Reef Fabric comes in one of Vlisco’s distinctive Java prints: an intricate swirl of natural color that we’re calling Coral Reef. Like everything in our collection, it’s a print that tells a story — and it’s a story that needs to be heard right now. Coral reefs are celebrated for their beauty: it’s why they generate around $36 billion for the global tourism industry each year. But they also play a crucial role in protecting our coastlines, reducing the impact of waves and helping to prevent erosion, and they support diverse marine life, too. When we started working with this print, it brought home the fragility of our coral reefs and oceans, and inspired us to explore a little deeper.

The impact of fashion on our oceans

It’s well known that the fashion industry has a damaging impact on the environment. Fashion production is estimated to account for 10 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, with high water usage and chemical pollution high on the list of concerns. But the damage doesn’t end with the production process. When you wash and wear synthetic fibers, you’re sending microplastics straight into the ocean, with potentially catastrophic results.

Every wash cycle sends an estimated 700,000 microfibers into the sewage system. Too small to be filtered out by treatment plants, these fibers end up in the ocean, where they build up in sediment on the sea bed or are ingested by fish and other sea creatures.

How can we prevent this? Although there is no perfect solution, we recommend choosing natural fibers like cotton, and buying fewer garments less often. Washing your clothes less frequently will certainly help. And consider a filter for your washing machine or using a washing bag that filters out the microplastics.

The Fabric

A Guaranteed Vlisco Wax Print, the Reef fabric is very simple to care for — simply hand wash it in lukewarm water and iron on the reverse at a maximum temperature of 110°C.

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