With the growing number of businesses in the country, there are those who stand out among the rest. However, it’s not because of their products or eye-catching advertising — it’s because but of their reason for existence. Take for example Reef Picks. This local business is supporting the coastal communities of Barangay San Andres, Isla Verde, Batangas City.
Currently, even large corporations have been exerting efforts to make their production and daily operations as sustainable as possible. And that’s not a bad thing, right? We need them to empower their industries to create a ripple effect toward a more sustainable and #BetterPhilippines.
Reef Picks, however, seems like it’s way ahead of everyone.
Reconnect with the oceans
Reef Nomads is a venture by Reef Nomads, and is comprised of freedivers or skin divers in the Philippines. With their various skin diving tours, they aim to help people reconnect with the beauty of the ocean.
Part of Reef Nomads’ profits goes to its non-profit arm, Batang VIP. It handles series of projects to empower locals, mainly the children in the fishing communities. These include instilling appreciation and stewardship for their beloved coastal community.
Tried and tested eco essentials
The passionate individuals from Reef Nomads started Reef Picks, a small sustainable lifestyle shop whose main goal is to help people find items that are less harmful to the environment.
These are products that are tried and tested by the Reef Nomad community. Some of these are bath essentials such as lotion bars, shampoo bars, and bamboo cotton buds. Reef Picks’ products are all handmade and locally-sourced.
With the pandemic postponing Reef Nomads’ eco-tourism initiatives in the coastal communities of Isla Verde in Batangas, it needed to reevaluate its projects.
The company decided to revive a long-lost tradition of weaving for their partners. They created beautiful tampipi boxes, coasters, and even laptop pads made from buri leaves. These weavings are also now being sold, and can be used as packaging, trinket boxes, etc.
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Nanay Conching is one of the few women on Verde Island who continued weaving despite the waning tradition. Weaving is no longer considered by locals as profitable. For one, nobody in their neighborhood would be able to afford the items if they raised prices alongside inflation. Second, getting the items to other markets like Manila was something they had difficulty establishing. We're excited to revive this beautiful tradition through our little shop, Reef Picks. Hopefully we can help establish their market here, sustain their craft, and uplift the lives in their community. 📸 @denllanosdee
Other products such as recreational puzzle boards, with handmade buri boxes, of course, are also available.
In addition to their consciously-made roster of products, they also make sea glass jewelry. Sea glass are shards of broken glass that end up in the sea. The ocean waves weather the glass shards over time. This whole process results in tiny pieces of glass, which they now turn into beautiful, sustainable, jewelry.
The sea finds a way to make things beautiful.Over time, glass bottles and other glass items that have served their…
Reef Picks has yet to launch the 2nd Collection of its sea glass jewelry line this October 2020.
While businesses are mainly to generate profit, ventures such as Reef Picks remain geared towards their original goal. At the end of the day, they want to empower their local partners by providing them with ideas for additional means of livelihood that aren’t harmful to their home.
In this way, they can maximize their resources while taking care of their coastal areas and fishing locations for the future.