Sustainable flip flops and sandals are those that are made from natural, organic or recycled material. Some options also include sustainable hemp, cotton or even vegetable-tanned leather.
Sustainable sandals and flip flops can be super trendy as well as environmentally friendly. These two qualities make them a great choice for summer footwear for those of us who want to feel good about our purchases and know that we’re making a difference in the world on some level.
Flip flops are so easygoing. Most pairs are comfortable and can be worn throughout summer. We say most as some pairs can take a while to wear in and grind the skin off your feet in the process. We’ve all had one of those pairs right?
In recent years, the increasing demand has led to an increase in the number of flip flop companies popping up, many of which are producing environmentally friendly products, which we love.
The most common traditional type of flip flop is made from plastics or leather tanned with chemicals. But we now have more choices when it comes to buying sustainable flip flops and eco friendly sandals as there are many eco-conscious brands to choose from. Let’s take a look:
11 Brands that make amazing eco friendly sandals and sustainable flip flops
Deux Mains has an impressive a heartwarming start-up story. Julie Colombino-Billingham volunteered in Haiti after the destructive earthquake hit a few years ago. She started off doing food distribution in a tent camp when one of the women told her that she didn’t want t bottle of water, she needed a job.
This was the wake-up call she needed to sell her home, quit her job and move to Haiti permanently to help create sustainable jobs, uplifting the local economy in a real tangible way.
They make their products in a 100% solar-powered, female-owned factory using ethical, recycled/repurposed, environmentally friendly materials and processes. Making products in their own factory ensures that they can monitor and provide a good working environment and fair wages for all employees.
We love that they also have an education programme that helps offers a guaranteed job at the company along with opportunities for further education.
The range includes eco friendly sandals, sustainable flip flops, accessories, jewellery and bags.
Shop Deux Mains
The Okabashi story started in 1984 and has been run as a family-owned and operated business from Budofrord in Georgia ever since.
Since the first pair, they have sold over 35 million pairs of shoes, now that’s impressive! By focusing on foot health and wellness they provide comfortable shoes for a healthy and active lifestyle.
Their proprietary materials are all made in the USA and are 100% recyclable, allowing them to operate a closed-loop manufacturing system. Shoes are moulded from recyclable and propriety materials that are 45% soy-based. It’s latex, BPA and phtalate free.
Not only are used shoes and scrap materials recycled, if you buy a pair you are encouraged to return your used Okabashi shoes for recycling in exchange for 15% off your next purchase.
You can buy with confidence as your pair of Okabashis comes with a two-year manufacturer’s guarantee.
The team at Rothy’s believe in doing this a little differently, a little better. In a way that is kinder to the planet and the people on it. They do this by transforming eco-friendly materials into durable wardrobe staples that look and feel good.
They make their flip flop straps with ocean-bound plastic by diverting plastic bottles from landfills into their signature thread that is both durable and washable. The footbeds are made from algae-based foam.
These beauties come in whole sizes only but should fit the contour of your foot without much hassle and as a bonus, there’s no “break-in period” of potential pain and agony in these.
If you’re not into flip flops then you’re in luck as Rothy’s make all kinds of beautiful goodies including lace-ups, bags and accessories.
Teva products are made from recycled and recyclable materials. And 100% of their straps are traceable, verifiable recycled plastic using REPREVE® yarn which has saved 24 million plastic bottles from landfills and potentially the ocean. They also offer vegan options each season and if they do use leather it’s sourced from sustainable tanneries certified by the Leather Working Group. To top it all off they support the Better Cotton Initiative and use recycled polyester.
As a company, Teva focuses on reducing water usage during its manufacturing process and throughout its supply chain, saving over 348 million gallons of water thanks to a range of packaging improvements.
If you’re looking for robust, outdoor men’s or women’s sustainable sandals then this brand is worth further investigation. Some of the styles might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a practical and durable choice.
The Feelgoodz journey began during an adventure through Southeast Asia and a chance encounter with the comfort of artisan-tapped natural rubber.
It’s the artisan’s touch that clearly makes all the difference. That’s why their products start at the rubber farm, which provides vital economic opportunities to local artisans in Thailand.
Feelgoodz has recently launched its new Zensole collection, made with yoga mat cushioning and soft vegan leather. These puppies provide premium arch support making them super comfortable.
We love how comfortable these soles are, they mould to your feet in just the right way.
As a leader in the sustainable footwear space, Jivanas is handcrafted by artisans in 18 steps at the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal. Now that’s quite a few crafty steps in the shade of an impressive mountain range.
They have a truly heartwarming story that started in 2016 when the founders visited an orphanage in Mumbai that helps to rescue young girls from the red-light district. There they met a 12-year-old Nepali girl and later travelled to Nepal where they discovered the culture, beautiful landscape and the pain wrapped up in widespread poverty. That’s when the almost impossible task started of making a real difference by creating Jivanas.
Jivinas are made from 100% natural and biodegradable materials. They use vegetable-tanned Italian leather and organic plant-based latex adhesives, water-based dyes, cotton thread and beeswax conditioner. This means that these pairs aren’t vegan but still made with sustainability in mind.
Their workshop in Nepal is owned and operated by Jivanas which helps to ensure safe working, fair wages, paid vacation time, daily canteen meals and health insurance.
Alongside making beautiful sustainable flip flops and other shoes, they create jobs in Nepal helping to combat poverty and exploitation. All suppliers are visited personally to make sure their strict ethical standards are met throughout their supply chain.
The Original Cork Shop make their flip flops in Portugal. Their main material is cork, a super sustainable and natural resource. We’ve previously written about sustainable wallets made from cork.
Cork is made from the bark of cork oak trees and doesn’t require tree felling. Harvesting the bark of the tree captures five times more carbon dioxide during the regeneration process once harvested. Cork is one of Portugal’s biggest exports, which is why many cork products originate in Portugal.
The company started in 2015 and all flip flops are ethically made by skilled local artisans. They pay close attention to detail and create beautiful cork products packed in boxes – no plastic in sight.
Shop Original Cork Shop
Vivaia creates beautifully stylish and sustainable footwear. They focus on positively impacting both the world and people. We love their range as it covers anything from sustainable sandals, pumps and loofahs.
The name Vivaia comes from the idea that their customer and company’s purpose make up their true identity. V and A symbolize the shoes with designs coming from opposite directions. The double I represents the plastic bottles used to make the shoes. The Vivaia brand name has been carefully chosen to highlight the company’s eco-friendly positioning and production methods.
Vivaia uses recycled materials along with 3D tech to create its product line. The production follows a zero-waste process to create seamless 3D knitted shoes with incredible comfort and beautiful design. The shoe uppers are made from recycled plastic bottles and wool. And the soles are made from natural herbal and PU foam. Impressively the shoes are completely machine washable, now that’s pretty handy right?
The company is headquartered in the US and manufactures in China. The factory is visited regularly to ensure working conditions are safe and ethical standards are maintained.
Nisolo is climate-neutral certified. They are committed not to contribute to the ever-growing carbon footprint of the fashion industry. As a company, they recognise that everything they make has an impact on the planet, and they believe the fashion industry can regenerate rather than destroy the environment.
They use a circular fashion approach which starts as early as material selection during the design phase. This is why they use upcycled and recycled materials. And 95% of their leather uppers come from Leather Working Group Certified tanneries, which has the highest standard of environmental responsibility.
Their factory in Peru is powered by solar energy and they have a shoe reclaim programme that incentivises customers to upcycle and recycle components of the shoes, creating employment in developing countries.
Third Oak is responsibly manufactured in their own factory in Georgia, USA. This means working conditions fall under American standards and if you’re in America ordering from Third Oak will mean that products don’t have to travel very far to get to you, reducing the carbon footprint of their recyclable and vegan sandals.
Their flip flops are made from 45% bio-based soy material, perfectly blended for maximum flexibility and durability. It puts just enough bounce into your step for all-day wear!
And then of course, other than standard foam flip flips, they are 100% recyclable. Scraps from the manufacturing process are also recycled, reducing waste throughout the production process.
Shop Third Oak
Tidal flip flops are super comfortable and made from renewable materials. They are made to last longer. From start to finish Tidal’s ethically made flip flops are manufactured in new york from materials sourced in the U.S.
They use Renewafoam which is Tidal’s propriety sole material made from a renewable-based polyurethane. The way they make their flip flops are similar to running shoes, which means they contain larger air bubbles adding around 60% of air to each sole. Which means less material and more bounce.
With a complete commitment to the environment, Tidal is a Certified B Corporation, use wind power and a lot less water within their manufacturing process.
Waste materials from their manufacturing process are recycled into exercise equipment called Bondaflex.
Flip flops and eco friendly sandals made with sustainability in mind in most cases mean more comfortable products that will last longer. There is such a wide choice of materials available with many sustainable fashion brands demonstrating incredible innovation.
Skipping past traditional flip flops not only means that you’ll skip the painful wear-in period of some cheaper and traditional brands you can also feel good about your purchase as you’re minimising the impact of your choice of course.
Here’s to happy and sustainable feet this summer1