June 1, 2010

Review: Simple Flippees for men and women.

Ahh, Flippees! I love easy summery flip-flops, and now I have a new go-to pair by the door. Yes, there is always the aesthetic pleasure to consider with apparel purchases, and these flip-flops are adorable—I get compliments on them all the time. I have them in the “black rainbow” color scheme, which comes off as retro casual and goes with nearly everything I wear. Even the tiny hemp-colored Simple tag sewn on top of the strap is a nice touch; it makes them look like a high quality product.

Comfort? A+. The soft rubbery thong between my toes has not yet created so much as an itch, let alone an annoying blister like most first-time flips, especially on my fresh-from-winter uncalloused feet. Usually I grin and bear it for the first week in a new pair, but the transition into these has been smooth for the past two weeks. Plus, the foamy, bumpy sole feels like a little egg crate for the foot—if you like sleeping on it, you have to like walking on it! Apparently the Eco-Pure (a Simple secret, also known as Bio.D) added to the rubber to make it biodegradable in 20 years also makes for a more wearable, softer rubber—who would have thought? Good for the planet and my foot!

Speaking of which, Simple does an outstanding job of being green. The list of materials used in all of the brand’s shoes sounds like a recycling center for footwear: used tire rubber, inner tube rubber, plastic bottles and more. The Flippees in particular feature PET recycled straps, an EVA insole with Eco-Pure added and an outsole made of 30% recycled rubber and 70% natural rubber with Eco-Pure. In layman’s terms: the webbing for the straps is made of recycled plastic bottles, and the rubber-like material on the sole is biodegradable in a landfill or compost heap.

There’s more: the foot form inserts are made of recycled post consumer paper and the glue used to hold it all together is water based. I really like the point made by Simple for using water based glue too: let’s reduce our dependence on petroleum and save the nostrils and lungs of those assembling the sandals in the factory. Most people don’t like to sniff glue for their health.

And for animal lovers out there: Flippees are a vegan shoe; they contain no animal products or even animal byproducts.

The sandals arrived in a plastic biodegradable zip lock bag with biodegradable tags and hanger—packaging this eco-friendly for shipped apparel is rare.

The only thing I found that isn’t completely eco is the actual production of EVA, a synthetic rubber, but BIO.D does make the whole EVA and rubber life cycle more environmentally friendly by allowing the material to decompose once people are done with it (instead of sticking around for a thousand years, it biodegrades in 20).

At a $30, I deem these flip-flops well-priced. I usually figure I have to pay at least this much for a pair that lasts, and these are showing no signs of wear and tear yet.

Overall rating for the Simple Flippee: A+.

Read 2 Comments and Reply

Read 2 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Claire Lochridge  |  Contribution: 1,600