Many people ask why the name of PARAFINA. Where does it come from? Well, Paraffin (in spanish “parafina”) is a wax that is applied to the surfboards so that the surfer's feet adhere well to the board and he or she does not slip when surfing the waves.
And you will think, what is the link between a wax for surfers and an eco-friendly eyewear brand? Here you can find the explanation.
At Parafina we believe that life is a journey, and that the best way to know ourselves is to know and care for the world around us.
Every time we have visited a new place, we have learned something from it. We have met new cultures, new ways of thinking. We have tasted exquisite recipes with ingredients impossible to find in our native country, Spain. We have been fascinated by paradisiacal landscapes, and exotic animals that we had only seen in National Geographic documentaries. But most importantly, we have discovered that we are not alone in the world, and that although sometimes life does not allow you to see beyond what you have in front of you, beyond your daily life, it is actually as easy as placing a finger on the map, jump in, and let destiny do its thing.
It was on one of these trips, in our search for places that made us feel at home although we were miles, where we fell in love with this sport that is for everyone, and at the same time for very few, surfing. When we talk about surfing we imagine blond girls and boys with hair down to their waists getting out of their 80’s trucks and going into the water to dance on their wooden boards, while the waves take them from one side of the beach to the other. The truth, as with all stereotypes, is that there are surfers of all shapes and colors. When you get to a beach with a surf culture and good waves, you realize that the surfers are young and old. They are tall, but also short. They have long hair, but many of them are already bald (tell that to the world’s top competitive surfing champion, Kelly Slater). In conclusion, the surfer is not defined by his appearance, but by what he feels when he is in silence in the middle of the sea waiting for his wave to arrive. And that rush of standing up on his board, and manage to tame a wave that struggles to make him fall into the water, turning this wave into his particular road in the middle of the ocean.
It is this feeling what makes them go through all the inconveniences of entering an environment that is not ours, such as the sea; where, from the moment they set foot in it, they encounter strong currents, rocks, bumps, and many other reasons why they will keep repeating to themselves they should be lying in the beach, instead of fighting in the water against the elements. But all these forces have made surfers change their perspective of the sea and life over the years, and they have even transformed their personality. These situations that take them completely out of their comfort zone, are the same ones that teach them one of the most important lessons that can be learned about the place where we live, although we sometimes forget: nature is powerful, unpredictable, uncontrollable and valuable. Spending so long in contact with the ocean, surfers share the silence and the environment, not only with other humans, but also with fish, seagulls and sometimes even with a curious dolphin that comes to gossip. These moments in the water make them disconnect from work, responsibilities and worries, and connect with the beauty that the beach offers them.
The waves that come traveling from the seabed, and break without caring about what or who is in front of them. The seagulls gliding gently in search of distracted fish. The sun in the background, changing the color of the sky, and moving to another place on Earth. The smell of the sea, getting inside his nose and filling his lungs. The wet face and the taste of salt. It is a truly unique sensation, one that is more and more often interrupted every day by a new species that is found a place it doesn’t belong. A piece of plastic. A piece of plastic that is just one of the thousands that are thrown every day into the sea, along with millions of other pieces of waste.
A piece of plastic that will take about 450 years to decompose and hopefully not end up in the stomach of a sea animal, a seagull or at the bottom of the sea. A piece of plastic that represents a threat to the environment the surfer loves so much, because human consumption habits are growing so fast that this piece of plastic will be 2 the next day, then 3… until we lose forever this space so unique, pure and special, the sea.
This is something that most people, who don’t have such a close and direct contact with the ocean, don’t see in their daily life. But the surfer sees it and is aware of it, and will not stand by and do nothing. He will get that piece of plastic, put it in his wetsuit or swimsuit, and throw it in the yellow garbage can once he gets out of the water.
This is something that most people, not having such close and direct contact with the ocean, don’t see in their day to day life. But the surfer sees it and is aware of it, and will not stand by and do nothing. He will approach that piece of plastic, put it in his wetsuit or swimsuit, and when he gets out of the water he will throw it in the yellow garbage can.
That’s why at PARAFINA we feel identified with surfers. Because after surfing many beaches, we have seen that the only thing we would change such a special place is this floating plastic.This is only our fault, the humans’ fault, and we are the only beings on Earth that can do something about it. For that reason we wanted to relate to the surfing world with which we feel very identified.
Our idea was to sell sunglasses, to wear on the beach and protect our eyes from the sun, but also to change the way we see the world. We were thinking about how we could make these glasses special and that when you put them on you were really contributing to make the world you see through them a better place.
After some time thinking, it dawned on us. If we wanted to see cleaner and healthier beaches through our glasses, we had to take this plastic and different floating waste of the sea and use it to create our glasses.
In this way, if someone at the beach wears one of our glasses, they will have directly contributed to making the world they see a better place. To this end, we decided that all of our glasses would be made from recycled and eco-friendly materials. But we didn’t want to stop there. Because it’s not much help to take waste from the sea if it’s still being polluted from the other side. So we thought that the glasses we sell should not only take waste out of the sea, but also help to reduce the amount of waste that is dumped every day.
Finally, we concluded that the best way to achieve this is through education. We would donate a percentage of our profits to a social project that would educate new generations in the importance of care for the planet. We would do so by acting in underprivileged areas, where the highest rates of pollution occur, due to the lack of resources and the little importance given to recycling in these areas, where the priority is to get food every day, rather than recycling. In this way we would also be helping these new generations to have more possibilities to get out of poverty through quality education.
When this became clear to us and we thought about how we could relate our brand to surfing, the sport to which we owed the approach we had given to the product, and whose practitioners were going to be the first to demand a philosophy that would keep their beaches clean, we decided that the brand should be called PARAFINA. Because when a surfer arrives at the beach, and there are good waves, what the body wants is to run into the water and stand on his board as soon as possible. But they don’t do it. Because they know that if they don’t put the kerosene on the board, they will get to the break and when they get up to catch the wave, their feet won’t hold on to the board, they will slip and fall off. That’s why they know that it is important to stop and spend 1 minute to put the kerosene, while they take the opportunity to look at the state of the sea, which is the best wave on the beach or from where should they enter.
This minute is insignificant compared to the 2 hours they will be surfing, but it allows them to prepare and enjoy much more of what they love to do most in the world. It is a minimal investment of time to improve their future. We relate this moment to everything we do at PARAFINA, since “put paraffin to the ideas” has been present in the whole creation process. We do not rush madly to do what others do, but we stop, evaluate, and think not only in the present, but also in the future.
And that’s why we call ourselves PARAFINA, and we keep travelling as much as this pandemic allows us, to keep getting to know the fascinating world we live in, learning, and contributing with our bit to make it a better place. That’s why we would like to encourage you to keep a conscience in everything you do and to try to apply Parafina in your life. The world will thank you for it.