Of the different shoes we present on UniGuide, flip flops are a shoe in for the highest echelons of eco-friendly shoes. Today, you can find a variety of really cool recycled flip flops, as well as those that are cruelty-free. There are some styles made from recycled yoga mats, and flip flops that are made from recycled tires. Other Earth-friendly materials include cork, hemp, recycled polyester, and more.
We’ve heard ’em called flip flops, flip-flops, flipflops, thong sandals, slide sandals, go-to sandals, and more, but a rose by any other name is still a rose, and flip flops rock. The only person we’ve ever heard say they don’t like flip flops is Lada Gaga. And that’s ok. More flip flops for the rest of us!
If we could wear them every day, we probably would. Why? Because flip flops make us happy. Flip flop sandals speak volumes about sunshine, warm weather, the beach, and relaxation. But if your flip flops are made from materials that are not Earth-friendly – like plastic, certain types of foam, suede, or leather – it erodes their feel-good vibe.
According to Wikipedia, flip flops transcend cultures, as they’re worn by people all over the world. The earliest record we have of a flip flop-style sandal was the type worn by the ancient Egyptians in 1,5oo B.C. But the modern flip flop that we all know and love was most likely inspired by the Japanese zōri, which American soldiers brought back to the U.S. after World War II.
So if you’re getting ready for summer, going on vacation to somewhere warm, or just walking from the shower to your locker that the gym, look no further – you have come to the right place to find:
Indosole is a certified B Corporation, which means it’s a for-profit company that is certified by the nonprofit B Lab for maintaining rigorous social and environmental standards. Indosole is helping to solve a significant environmental problem by repurposing some of the billions of discarded tires that would otherwise pollute important places, such as riverways, other natural habitats, and even cities, into useful footwear.
SOLE takes corporate social responsibility and environmental stewardship seriously, which led them to using cork, an all-natural and sustainable material, in their eco-friendly sandals. Plus, they incorporate other Earth-friendly materials, like hemp and recycled polyester, into their designs. SOLE focuses on reducing their carbon footprint, running a business that is carbon negative. They achieve this by planting cork trees, harvesting the bark, recycling wine corks, and purchasing carbon offsets.
We call Patagonia the granddaddy of eco-friendly product companies because after over four decades in business, they just get better and better at producing super high-quality products that are infused with environmental consciousness and low-impact materials. It’s not easy being the front runner, but we are all grateful to catch a ride on the momentum they’ve been building since 1973.
Musewear prints whimsical sayings, inspiring quotes, and zodiac signs on their flip flops, which are made from natural Brazilian rubber. With each pair you buy, they donate 15% of the price to nonprofits, such as Best Friends Animal Society and the Nature Conservancy. They also have a recycling program for their flip flops when you’re done wearing them.
Founded by yoga student and cancer survivor, Dennis Ingui, Aurorae is a family-run business that recycles EVA foam yoga mats to make comfy cushioned flip flops.
Husband and wife team, Josh and Heather Carpenter, started Landfill Dzine when they saw a lot of userful materials come through the family’s recycling center, which served the agricultural industry. Self-described recycling fanatics, The Carpenters saw style and innovation where others just see trash. Landfill Dzine makes a variety of products for men, women, and kids – including belts, shoes, and bags – that are made from upcycled and recycled materials.
Owned by Deckers, the Sanuk brand has a variety of shoes made that are vegan and made from natural fibers. Deckers carries some non-vegan brands, but they do put out an annual corporate social responsibility report and focus on worker safety along their supply chains.
Founded by podiatrist Dr. Sylvie Shapiro, Planet Flops are made in Brazil from natural Brazilian rubber. Unlike synthetic rubber, natural rubber comes from rubber trees and is an eco-friendly material. The rubber harvesting process involves tapping into the tree to remove the sap from the bark, which does not harm the tree, yet creates an extra reason to keep them alive and thriving.
Made in the USA, Okabashi‘s sandals contain 20% recycled materials. Okabashi has its own recycling program – when you’re done with your flip flops, you can mail them back and Okabashi will use the materials to make more of their products.
Chako‘s topographic-inspired textured footbeds have a non-marking “EcoTread” sole that is made with a 25%-recycled rubber compound. EcoTread’s construction makes these sandals 15% lighter than Chako’s other styles, while still being durable.
Made from hemp, one of the most versatile and sustainable natural materials available today, Nirvana 8‘s hemp sandals are imported from Nepal, where they are all handmade by local artisans in the Kathmadu Valley.
Now go forth in yonder flip flops and love thyself, thy neighbors, animals, and the Earth!