Why should you care?
...a question often missed in this fast paced world that we live in.
“it’s just a pair of thongs” Over 500 million; that’s right, half a billion thongs are sold every year, and we all know they don’t last forever! Could it be more than “just a thong”?
Over the course of time, these thongs end up in landfill sites and contribute to the billions of tonnes of waste discarded annually without a second thought. When creating TheFlipFlopCo, we wanted to build something looking at the end result first. How can we create something where the impact, environmentally is as minimal as possible? How do we create a product that is firstly naturally resourced, but also durable and desirable.
We are constantly reminded to put our paper in recycling bins and avoid plastic bags, though what about our clothes? Do we ever think twice when buying two shirts for $20 from a department store? Longevity, sustainability, sourcing, working conditions and employee wages are rarely at the forefront of our thoughts when we exchange our hard earned money for these mass produced items.
It wasn't until recently that I began to understand exactly how the production side of things works, especially within the clothing and footwear industry. We love pushing to innovate our processes with production and manufacturing of our thongs. Products produced in large volumes are often shipped in cartons containing excess plastic packaging; packaging which is the first thing to fill up landfill sites when the product hits stores and shelves. This was a large concern for us when shipping our products, and one area we could see as a great way to start reducing unnecessary wastage immediately.
To try and create a product with absolutely zero impact on the environment is a tall order, though it is something we push towards each day, and something we hope to inspire other companies to push for. With rising costs to production, thinking outside the box, even for a large scale business is something that is becoming an ever prevalent headache. One however that we see as an exciting challenge.
As Warren Buffett wisely pointed out; ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it’ and in a world of environmental sustainability, this couldn't be more accurate.
I remember my first pair of thongs; they lasted about a month over summer! I couldn't believe how comfy they were due to the soft rubber, however this honeymoon period soon wore off (no pun intended) and they began to fall apart a week later. Returning these comfortable, yet poorly made thongs was obviously impossible, and I was left with a ratty pair of thongs, and a need for something more. When we started to come up with our own concept for the humble thong, we wanted to get the balance perfect. Something that has the comfort needed to take you down to the local surf beach, or on those long sightseeing days in the city. An alternative to the cheap $10 thongs that wont make it through the summer. Above all, they had to be recyclable. It’s the only way, right?
Writing about this gets me fired up, so I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed blogging about it! Blog Dos Completo!
Andrew - Co-Founder of The FlipFlop Company
Check in next time to get some inside info to the best beaches only an aussie would know. Peace x