In the dog days of summer there's no easier shoe than the flip flop. Just the feel of the toe divider slipping between your digits reminds you that balmy days are here. When they get wet because the dog drops them in the pool or you're running for cover during an afternoon thunderstorm it doesn't matter, and they can be paired with a sundress for an evening out or with your rattiest jean shorts, and they work for (almost) any occasion.
Most flip flops are made from non-recycled and non-recyclable plastics, so once you're done with them, off to the landfill they will go for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Simple Shoes is stepping into the reduce-reuse-recycle loop with their Green Toe line for men and women, which they call âsustainable shoes,' including flip flops, sneakers, and even casual office-friendly shoes. Simple uses all Earth-friendly materials to make the kicks, from felted wool to cork, bamboo, crepe, cotton, and even recycled car tires!
For summer, they've designed some very wearable, not-boring-at-all flip flops out of recycled plastic PET (so that's what happens to those number 1 plastics when you throw them in the recycle bin!) and natural latex. The flops are held together with non-toxic water-based cements, and are shipped in a biodegradable bag.
For every pair of the luau-friendly Kokua Festival Toe Foo sold, Simple donates $5 to the 2007 Kokua Hawaii Foundation, which supports environmental education in schools and communities in Hawaii. The girly pretty Stop Global Warming Toepeeka (look closely and you'll notice that those aren't pink polka dots, but Stop Global Warming insignias) is made with an organic cotton upper and recycled car tire tread. $5 from the sale of each will go to stopglobalwarming.org. The subtle-cool design on the Tyler Warren Toe Foo is printed on organic cotton and is an original illustration by the surfer and young artist Tyler Warren, who usually makes one-of-a-kind surfboards.
These summer stand-bys from Simple prove that eco-friendly definitely doesn't have to mean boring! Surf's up! Starre Vartan is founder and editor of Eco-Chick.com, a blog for hip, environmentally savvy young women, and is a freelance writer. Her forthcoming book The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to Be Fabulously Green is due out in Spring, 2008.
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