Ethical Flip Flops, Get ready for Summer!
Worn for thousands of years, thong sandals are today the most popular casual footwear. Billions of flip flops are sold each year across the world. Unfortunately, this success does not come without harming the environment, especially regarding thongs made of polyurethane which are not easy to discard and persist in the landfills for way too long.
In order to address this challenge, footwear companies started to make thongs with recycled products such as bicycle tires or natural materials such as rubber or hemp. Let’s put the spotlight on 5 of them!
While backpacking in Thailand, Kyle Berner tried very comfortable flip flops made with high quality natural rubber, tapped from Thai rubber trees. Back in the USA, he created FeelGoodz with the objective of producing pillow-soft and earth friendly flip flops with the help of natural rubber farms in Thailand and Vietnam through fair trade.
Price: from $12,50 (around 11,80€)
Image source: FeelGoodz
Hippobloo also uses Thai natural rubber for its colourful collection of flip flops. In addition, the brand ensures good working conditions (safety, fair pay, no child or forced labor…) and runs toxicity tests to guarantee the safety of its products to humans and the environment. The thong sandals are then transported by boat and sold in a bag made of recycled materials. Once your flip flops get too tired to be worn, simply cut it in small pieces and bury it in your garden as they are biodegradable!
Price: from 15€
Image source: Hippobloo
One pair, one message! Musewear wishes to inspire and spread positivity with messages and quotes on its footwear. After spending a full year working with Martin Kunz of The Fair Trade Corporation and looking for the perfect materials, the brand has chosen to work with a Brazilian Rubber Supplier adopting a green policy (good working conditions, recycled products) and to donate 15% of each purchase profits to charity. The company supports organisations such as Best Friends Animal Society, Amnesty International, and The Nature Conservancy. Furthermore, Musewear takes care of recycling your beat-up flip flops, just mail it back and it will be shipped to UniquEco which turns flip flops into raw materials!
Price: $20 (around 19€)
Image source: Musewear
As part of the Fair Rubber Association, Olli “purchases rubber from audited plantations that maintain Fair Trade standards that include safe working conditions, medical care, and a fair wage” to produce their flip flops in Sri Lanka. A Kick-Starter campaign has been launched in March 2017 with the objective of gathering $10,000 to bring the project to life. So far, 315 contributors provided $12,351. We wish great success to Olli!
Price: from $12 (around 11€)
Image source: Olli