Reef Knots is a company built around some pretty simple principles. We try to make clothes of the highest quality, with great details, that leave a small footprint on the planet and the ocean. And we try to have a fair bit of fun doing it. But to truly understand our business, you need to go back to where it all started. With one man, Patrick, and a very bad day.
In November 2012, Patrick was made redundant from his corporate job of 13 years. It also happened to be two days before his wife gave birth. To twins. He found himself with three young children, a new mortgage and a big problem.
The traditional solution to problems like this is to get another job. But, unfortunately, Patrick had got it into his head that what people needed were more of the world's most unpopular clothing item. The tie.
Needless to say, Patrick didn’t receive a Husband Of The Year Mug in 2012. Instead, he was told he was crazy on a bi-hourly basis by almost everyone he met. Thankfully, Patrick didn’t listen to the "Nobody-wears-a-tie-anymore" brigade. He was a man on a mission: to take this neck-adorning symbol of corporate grind and turn it into something people actually wanted to wear; something that would remind them of summer and the pockets of paradise outside their cubicles.
And that’s when it was born: Summertime - all the time.
The first cliched and “crazy dream” Patrick had was to make products that represented life far away from the office. We wanted our customers to imagine they were walking through the salt-whipped streets of some distinctly charming beach town, swinging in a palm-strung hammock as they read that novel they almost started last summer, shuffling their feet through the sand looking for more sea glass, enjoying al fresco dinners at their favourite beach restaurant, sitting around life-affirming beach bonfires, and taking selfies of their incredible beach hair - hair that had been licked by the elixir of salt, sun and warm winds. We wanted to give people a small moment of escapism in the hope it would Make Monday Mornings Great Again.
So that’s what we set out to do.
Reef Knots started with ties but we soon good pretty good at other products too. We now sell a full range of menswear, all of them sharing the same aim: perfect staples with a Reef Knots twist. We are also trying to incorporate recycled plastics, organic cottons and other materials into our products to make sure they leave as small as mark on the planet as possible. This is hardwired into our DNA and Patrick started our partnership with the Blue Marine Foundation when he was still operating gout of his spare room.
We never thought this journey would be a huge success. We thought it would be like trying to touch the bottom of the Mariana Trench wearing just one flipper and a cracked snorkel.
Yet here we are.
Doing something different.
It doesn’t matter if you wear a tie everyday or twice a year, we create clothes that remind people you’re less formal at heart; clothing that celebrates the best parts of life; clothing that is as one-off as each coral reef. And we love it. We’ve seen our ties worn by (honourable) politicians and our shirts rocked by (questionable) popstars. We’ve made a pact to never compromise on quality, remained committed to always improving our products, and we’ve forever tried to seas the day by giving back to the ocean, partnering up with the oceanpositive charity that is the Blue Marine Foundation.
And with all that said and done, we would love nothing more than for you to clamber aboard and join us on our sun-soaked adventure.
Come say hello to us at our City of London shop! We are located at:
London, EC3V 1LT.
Opening hours: 10am - 6pm Mon-Fri