Flipflop issue 1, Vol. 1: Decision making

My flipflops had seen better days but when I stood in front of a display of colorful sandals in a surf shop I had flashbacks. I thought about all of the rubber shoe and sandal soles I’ve seen washed up on beaches along with plastic water bottles and other trash. I was paralyzed knowing I couldn’t really get through the next few weeks with the ones I’d been saving only for the gym, given their issues. With my luck I’d trip on the sole that was flapping free of the upper deck and fall on my face, ruining my vacation.

Then I found some called Ocean Minded. Wary of marketing claims, I read and re-read their little tags, which say they’re comprised of recycled tires, plastic bottles and eva as well as made with water-based glue, hemp and organic cotton. Hmm, I thought, always the skeptic. But I kept going back to their central message: “Eventually everything ends up in the ocean.”

As much as it turns my stomach I know it’s true.

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Unlike makers of other flipflops, which we’ve come to consider as disposable as Styrofoam coffee cups and a million other things, Ocean Minded at least acknowledges the issue. Who cares if other brands are made of “real yoga mats”?? Does that mean they’re freeing landfills of thousands of discarded yoga mats? I don’t know about you but I haven’t seen as many discarded yoga mats as soda bottles on the side of the road. In fact, I think there’s some eternal negative karma attached to disposing of any yoga mat, so people just hide them in a closet for their grandchildren to find and wonder about.

I spent more than I wanted to on the Ocean Minded flipflops but it made me realize I need to find more outlets for recycling my athletic footwear (here’s one, Okabashi — I will look closer next time). It’s really the one purchase I make frequently and because I hate to throw out sneakers that I’m done with, I often end up with way too many in the back of a closet somewhere (how many “lawn mowing” sneakers do you need?).

Upon brief research, I found this list of the 5 top recycled shoe brands. It’s not impressive. Where are the big names who produce the vast majority of shoes and why aren’t they on it?

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One Response to “Flipflop issue 1, Vol. 1: Decision making”

  1. Louisa May Alcatt Says:

    excellent point. what do you do with all those well-worn shoes and flip flops. yes, it is sad to think that everything ends up in the ocean. makes us more mindful at point-of-purchase when thinking about point-of-purging, enjoy your vacation, xo, LMA

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