It’s true; occasionally, surfers must wear shoes. And it’s also true that many surfers care about the environment. Enter the Cariuma shoe brand, founded a couple years back in Brazil, by co-founders David and Fernando who have a shared ethos: sustainability, style, and a love for boardsports.
After working together for years and leaving their corporate jobs, the two set out to create their passion project — and along the way, they developed a brand with equal parts dedication to quality and giving back to the environment.
“Cariuma’s mission to disrupt the wasteful practices inherent in fashion goes beyond reinventing the sneaker game,” says the brand. “Style and sustainability go hand-in-hand with Cariuma. That includes partnering with ethical factories; sourcing low-impact, natural materials; even designing our own single-box, carbon-neutral shipping program. For every pair sold, the Reforestation Program plants a pair of trees in the Brazilian rainforest: home to the most diverse ecosystem, several endangered species, and where over 20% of the forest floor is gone.”
With this focus on environmentalism, Cariuma has attracted a roster of eco-friendly surfers including Gerry Lopez, Kai Lenny, Jack Freestone, Alana Blanchard, Kelia Moniz, Jamie O’Brien, and Italo Ferreira.
“Cariuma’s shoes are so comfortable, it’s insane,” says Freestone. “There is no sacrifice in the quality just because they are eco-friendly. They are comfy and look awesome. And because of my ethics, I love doing everything I can to help reduce my carbon footprint. That’s why it’s important for me to align with companies that have sustainable, eco-friendly products. I love the fact that they built an entire brand around sustainability. It’s rad to see a company committed to giving back to the earth.”
Here’s the specs on the popular Catiba Pro: “It’s a functional classic, handmade from organic cotton, ethically sourced suede, and a vulcanised, natural rubber sole. Every pair has a cork, memory foam, and mamona oil insole for all the comfort of a broken-in shoe in a brand-new pair of sneakers.”
Teamrider Kelia Moniz had this to say: “At Cariuma, they practice what they preach. I’ve seen brands talk about sustainability and received packages from them that have been wrapped in plastic. That has never happened with Cariuma. To me, packaging means a lot and their packaging is minimal, organised, and so clean.
“We are destroying our planet, and the fact that I get to work with a brand that doesn’t just stand for a good cause, but is active in making a change, is so powerful. Plus, I’m a sneaker girl, and I can say that these shoes are easily the comfiest I’ve ever worn.”
“I think it’s awesome what Cariuma is doing,” says JOB. “Their dedication to sustainability and building products in an eco-friendly fashion is something I’m super aligned with. I’m stoked to be a part of that movement. Not to mention that the shoes are very comfortable and nice to wear – that’s the best part. And they take it even a step further by planting two trees for every shoe purchased, which is amazing. I think it’s very important for brands to give back, and Cariuma is doing that for the surfing world, and the whole world in general.”
“I'm not much of a shoe guy, sometimes I shovel snow off the driveway in my slippers," said Mr Pipeline, Gerry Lopez. "But the first time I slide into a pair of Cariuma sneakers and walked around a bit, I thought they were as comfortable as shoes get. Then my wife and I were waiting in the Covid line at the health food store...a girl out front was only letting in a limited number of shoppers, then she pointed at our Cariuma's and said, "Where did you get those..they are cool!" Made me feel even better about wearing shoes.”
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