Can you believe we’ve finally made it to sandal season? If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm state, like Florida or California, then you’ve been there for awhile. But for the rest of us, we’re just now tasting the sweet, soft air of approaching summer.
This means that it’s time for a new pair of sandals.
Now, we could all hike down to Wal-Mart or Target and pick up a pair of flip flops for $4.99. But there are several problems with this.
First, most cheap flip flops are made in China. Many manufacturers use sweatshop labor (how else could you make flip flops across the world for so cheap?). And, almost all of them use unsustainable plastic.
The cool thing about the growing eco/fair trade movement is that we now have options for buying eco friendly sandals. Many of them are made with recycled plastic. Many are made from sustainable hemp. And many are fair trade sourced.
If you’re shopping with a conscience this year, then these are all very good things.
So, what are some of my favorite eco-friendly, fair trade sandals? Here are my top picks!
Simple’s new Flippee sandals are a perfect pick for eco-conscience consumers.
Because they’re made with recycled soda bottles! How cool is that?
They’re also 100% vegan, which means that they contain no animal products or by-products.
And to keep the coolness coming, the sandals are designed to be 100% biodegradable. If you toss these puppies into a landfill, they’ll be gone in 20 years. With the super comfortable sole and the bright, rainbow-colored ribbon, it’s hard to go wrong with the Simple Flippee this summer. Definitely a top pick!
TerraPlana is one of my most favorite brands ever. I own three pairs of shoes by them, and really don’t want to own another type of tennis shoe. Ever.
Why am I so obsessed?
Because TerraPlana’s shoes are the most comfortable shoes I have ever put on my feet. And, they’re eco-friendly.
Now, in the spirit of full disclosure I have to admit I have NOT tried their sandals. My obsession with TerraPlana shoes are focused completely on their Vivo Barefoot line, which mimics barefoot walking in a shoe. Yes, they are completely amazing.
But, this stands to reason that their sandals are probably just as luscious, which is why I’m picking their Frenchie sandals as my #2 pick. The sole is recycled, the foam footbed is completely eco-friendly, and the leather was tanned using vegetable tanning (which is much safer for the environment).
TerraPlana also has a vegan line.
The Zuri sandals are a wonderfully unique looking sandal that I love.
The cool thing about EcoSandals is that they’re made in Kenya by local artisans (who otherwise wouldn’t have a job). Their view is that if they can make sandals tough enough to survive hard use in Kenya, then they’ll make it anywhere else in the world.
So, these sandals are built to last.
The Zuri sandal is leather, with a sole made from recycled tires.
If you’re shopping around for sandals this summer, then why not take a bit more time to find a fair trade, eco friendly pair of sandals? You’ll not only lessen your impact, but you’ll also help support artisans around the world.
Filed under: Eco Fashion on May 19th, 2010