To best show off your feet in summer, make sure to choose one of these brands when selecting your flip flops sandals and thongs. Look no further, here you will find cool flip flop sandals that are also easy on the planet. In case you are confused, in Australia flip flops are called “thongs”, which has a different meaning in the USA and some other English-speaking countries.
Materials used in making eco friendly flip flops include upcycled vehicle tires, recycled plastic, upcycled industrial hoses, recycled cork and hemp. It is possible to choose footwear that will reduce your footprint. Discover the brands that make natural rubber flip flop thongs and sandals in this post.
You can actively support those companies that are being pro-active in cleaning our beaches and keeping plastic out of our oceans, and are producing items from recycled materials.
Indosole re purposes discarded vehicle tires and use them as soles in their vegan footwear line. Indosole hire locals in Bali, Indonesia, to collect discarded vehicle tires and process them into rubber soles for footwear.
The idea of turning discarded tires into soles, came to the founder of Indosole after a holiday in Bali. Indonesian people were using rubber tires to make flip-flops.
Their flip-flops are known as the most economical flip-flop in the world, consisting of:
- a hundred percent re purposed tire out soles,
- waterproof vegan uppers and
- a contoured natural rubber mid sole / foot bed.
They also make boat shoes and slipons with a hundred percent re purposed tire out soles, custom dyed canvas uppers and EVA foam insole with arch support.
No animals or fuel powered machinery is involved, making them responsibly crafted. Steps in making Indosole footwear: (photograph credit to Indosole)
- Before tires get to landfill or are burnt, the tire sourcing team buys the tires.
- The sidewalls of the tire is cut off by hand and the shape of a sole is cut by using various cutting devices.
- Uppers are constructed from natural materials like banana leaves, organic canvas and grass.
- Sole is attached to the upper by hammering, pulling, gluing, pressing and heating up.
- Lastly an insole is put in.
Indosole footwear uses re purposed and natural materials and is crafted by artisans in Indonesia. Their footwear can be used on all terrains, so it is very popular with lovers of the outdoors. Indosole represents resourceful creation and their footwear feature natural and re purposed materials. They are a B-Corp business, meaning they meet the highest standards for social and environmental performance. Get your pair of Indosole flip flop sandals here.
2. Adidas and Parley for the Oceans
Parley for the Oceans collect plastic waste from our beaches before it can even enter our oceans and harm marine life. This waste is then recycled and yarn is produced that Adidas is using in making flip-flops and sneakers and other garments.
The Adidas Eezay Parley Slide flip-flop comes with a cork foot bed, that not only looks very stylish, but also adds even more comfort and is cool to wear. Get you pair of these eco conscious flip flop sandals here.
To find out more about the fantastic work that Parley for the Oceans is doing, and the cool sneakers and trainers that Adidas is producing using their recycled plastic yarn, please read my article here.
ECOALF is a Spanish brand that was started in 2009 with the mantra of “because there is no Planet B”. They are creating clothing and accessories that are made entirely from recycled materials, which is largely due to the advancement in technology.
They recycle post consumer waste like discarded fishing nets, used plastic bottles, old vehicle tires, coffee grounds, wool and cotton and much more. It is difficult to recycle rubber tires as it contains metals, antioxidants and pieces of fabric.
ECOALF flip flops are 100% made from recycled tires and are hand made in Spain. These are the steps involved:
- Tires are washed and shredded and
- any metal and fabric pieces are separated from the rubber.
- Any other impurities are cleaned from the remaining rubber,
- before the grain is transformed into powder.
- No adhesives, only heat, is used to make and join the powder soles to the straps.
- Strength and flexibility of the soles are tested before the straps are added.
Each pair of flip-flops use 344 grams of recycled rubber powder. They are available in all the vibrant colors of the rainbow.
Plastic bottles and waste, which is collected from the ocean, is recycled and ECOALF has already recycled more than 200 million tons of plastic bottles. They use mechanical recycling, which is the most sustainable form of recycling. They want to transform the plastic into top quality yarn to produce garments.
Recycled nylon from fishing nets, carpets and fabric scraps is also used in their garments. Through recycling and a circular economy, a product can be made that will help our planet.
Ecoalf Community Projects
The consumption of natural resources are kept to a minimum when wasted resources are used. The project of Upcycling the Ocean, was started in 2015. Through ECOALF’s own foundation and with the support of the HAP Foundation, the aim is to remove marine debris from the bottom of the ocean.
Fishermen are also needed to support this, and the fishing sector is helping to remove debris from the bottom of our oceans. So far 550 sea trawlers have collected 500 Tons of marine trash from the Mediterannean Sea. The biggest challenge is that the quality of the marine waste is inconsistent and low, mainly because of exposure to sunlight, water and sea salt. ECOALF Foundation is a non-profit organization that is promoting the recovery of marine debris, in order that it can be recycled. Awareness of the marine pollution problem needs to be raised, in order to increase recovery of waste. Their three main objectives are these:
- Remove marine litter that damages the eco system in our oceans.
- With a circular economy, give the recovered waste a second life.
- Raise global awareness of the issues that marine pollution presents.
Thanks to recycled materials, ECOALF creates sustainable fashion with the same quality, design, and technical properties as the best non-recycled ones. Get your pair of ECOALF eco conscious shoes here.
Cork and recycled polyester is used to produce eco friendly and sustainable flip-flops. Most flip-flops offer your feet no support and are flat and flimsy, leading to feet feeling tired after a short period of time.
Solé produces orthopedic shaped soles that support your arch and also standard insoles that can be used in standard shoes. The recycled cork foot bed has an anatomical shape, with flex-knit straps that are engineered for comfort.
Materials for the foot bed range from ReCork recycled cork to algae based Bloom foam, which will give you different levels of firmness and strap widths.
Cork is a moisture wicking natural material, meaning it takes moisture away from your feet, leaving them more comfortable in hot conditions. It is also naturally shock absorbing, so helping to prevent “tired” feet. Apart from using recycled wine corks, they also plant cork trees and harvest the bark. Instead of throwing away your natural wine corks, give them to Solé to recycle. Cork harvesting is done without harming the tree, if anything, it prolongs the life of the tree. Here you can read my article about cork leather.
Solé was founded in 2001 and is based in Vancouver, Canada, but the manufacturing facility is in China. So look no further if you want a flip flop or thong sandal that also gives you orthopedic support for your foot arch. This is where you can get your pair of Solé flip flop sandals.
Subs is a New Zealand brand that is using re purposed plastic waste to make flip-flops. When you buy a pair of Subs flip-flops, you will be removing one kilo of marine debris from the ocean.
The process is:
- Industrial, commercial and ocean plastic waste is collected.
- PET bottles are smashed
- The waste PVC is extruded into recycled PVC pellets.
- Under heat, the recycled PVC pellets are injected into moulds, creating Subs PCU flip-flops.
- The extruded PET pellets are also processed into yarn, which is spun into thread. This is woven into fabric that is used for satchels and tote bags.
Through cleaning teams, partnerships and sponsors, plastic trash is collected from beaches during beach clean-ups. So the plastic is removed even before it can end up in the ocean. Plastic waste from ocean gyres (there are five major gyres) invariably end up back on our beaches.
What can you expect when you buy a pair of Subs flip flops?:
- The sizing is unisex, so no worries whether you need men or women, and they are also available in kiddies sizes.
- A tapered foot bed gives you additional comfort and durability.
- Soles and straps have a regular or slender fit.
- There is a custom grip in the top and the bottom of the sole, which adds additional anti-slip in wet conditions.
Composition of Subs flip-flops are:
- Soles are recycled PCU plastic and they can be upcycled.
- Straps are made from PVC plastic and is a a hundred percent recyclable.
It is easy to recycle your old Subs too. Simply return them, and you will even get a discount voucher that can be redeemed in their on-line store. Worn out pairs are shredded into pieces and added to the recycled PVC pellets from waste for re purposing into new Subs flip-flops.
So if we can clean our beaches, it is a major starting point to preventing more plastic pollution. Already nearly a hundred and seventy thousand kilograms of plastic has been removed from beaches and converted into Subs flip-flops.
By buying a pair of Subs flip flop sandals, you not only remove a kilo of plastic debris, but you also show your commitment to cleaner beaches and oceans.
Gumbies is an Australian brand that is worn around the globe. Their aim is to provide minimalistic footwear, while still protecting the soles of your feet.
Their footwear range uses recycled and sustainable materials. Flip flop sandals and thongs are made with recycled rubber soles and recycled plastic bottles are used to make their slippers.
The three flip flop styles vary slightly in the materials that are used:
- Islander flip flop: The soles are made out of recycled rubber, which is cut into little squares, and is bonded together with jute, thus adding strength. To add to the comfort, it has an Eva mid sole. The straps are made from natural and recycled cotton with a soft cotton toe post to prevent any chafing.
- Duckbill flip flop also has recycled rubber soles, but without the jute added. This means it dries very quickly and is deal for all water based activities. It has a textured top layer of EVA that gives grip and comfort. The straps are made from recycled PET plastic bottles, but it still has the soft toe post.
- Corker flip flop has a real cork top layer, giving all the benefits of cork. The canvas strap is made from recycled cotton and comes with a soft cotton toe post, meaning it will not chafe you. The same recycled rubber sole that is used for the Islander, is also used here.
The Gumbies range includes flip flop sandals, thongs, sliders, slipons, boat shoes and slippers. Approximately eight plastic bottles are used to make a pair of recycled slippers. Since it was first launched in 2017, more than half a million plastic bottles have been recycled. Get your pair of Gumbies flip flop sandals here.
The story of Bumpers started with two backpackers that were on the coast of the Indian Ocean on a surfing holiday. After noticing that all the locals were wearing the same style flip flops, they each bought a pair. These were so comfortable that they wanted to share it with others around the world.
It is made from a unique blend of recycled and natural rubber and EVA and recycled rubber. Zero waste production facility where all the industrial waste and scraps are collected and sent back to their rubber factory, where it is recycled and incorporated again in their flip-flops.
Small massaging nodules or bumps on the insoles are designed to energize your feet. The bumps create pressure points under your feet, which increases blood flow to your feet, as the flip flops adapt to your feet when you walk. It also provides airflow between your feet and the soles, keeping your feet dry. This is where you can buy your pair of Bumpers flip flops.
Recycle your Flip-flops
Many flip-flop manufacturers will recycle your old footwear, so when you no longer need your flip-flops at the end of their lives, then please do recycle them.
Check out these articles if you would like to know more about stylish shoes made from recycled materials or sneakers made of recycled plastic.
If you have any comments or questions about recycled flip flop sandals or thongs, or the use of recycled cork in footwear, then please them below and I will get back to you.
30 thoughts on “7 Flip flop sandals made of recycled materials”
Great article, but I noticed there was no link for the Subs flip-flops but all of the other brands had a link to their websites?
You are right that there is no link as one can contact Subs directly. I hope it helps.
That’s great information! You have put lots of efforts into preparing this wonderful material! It helps lots of people!
Thank you and I am pleased to hear that it helps lots of people.
Of all these optons, Parley for the Oceans\ work really cought my attention. I didn\t know Adidas had teamed up with them and they were producing these both stylish and eco-friendly flip flops. I would also like to take a look at the sneakers they are making with recycled material. And your post about them will also be interesting. I will head over there.
Using recycled plastic to make flip flop sandals and sneakers are an awesome way to reduce the mountains of plastic waste that we have. The work that Parley For the Oceans is doing, is tremendous, and great that a big brand like Adidas is joining forces with them.
Thank you for this interesting article. We are a start up company in Malaysia producing eco flip flops made of upcycled nitrile rubber gloves. This is our way to preserve Mother Nature as these gloves are either sent to landfills or to incineration process.
What a great way to upcycle rubber gloves and create eco flip flops. It is a great way to help the planet and prevent more waste going into landfill.
sometimes I always wonder what they do with all the used tires but you have told me were they go and showed me some great products that are made with recycled goods it is great that they do not add it to the landfills you have good products that save the environment thank you for this great site
It is indeed awesome that there are more brands that are using recycled materials to produce clothing and footwear, thereby helping the environment.
I found your article very informative and most interesting. I would like to make sure my future purchases support recycling and keeping the ocean clean. I did check out the Indosole link to see if they came in my size and found that they are out of stock and no idea of when they would receive any. Don’t you hate when that happens?- Then I checked your link for Adidas sandal link, and they were not available. The Ecoalf link led to men’s trainers- You must have encouraged the sell-out of a lot of flip flop sandals!
Thanks for raising awareness of the ability to encourage recycling and reusing.
Hi Sami, great to hear that you would like to support brands that are using recycled materials. I am sure you will find something that is good for you. Liné
This is a way we all can also contribute to helping the environment. Yes most of us would have the money to buy sandals that are not recycled but this was a brilliant idea from someone thinking of a way to save the environment and also profit from it. Not bad.
Reading this has also opened my eyes to brands actively participating in helping to clean our environment. A lot of people really need to know about this and assist in any way they can. I love wearing sandals as I find them to be less stressful to wearing shoes.
I actually wear sandals every day when going to work and don’t really fancy shoes and I guess it is easier for me based on what I do. Anyway, I would really like to give these flip flop sandals a try in my own little way in supporting a clean environment.
Hi Manuel, It is great that recycled plastics and other materials are being used to produce useful and functional products that are also beautiful, Liné
This article shows how we can recycle plastics and other materials to make new products while a the same time helping the environment. Many of these flip flops are very attractive a well constructed. There are many different styles and colours to choose from. These flip flops seem to have very grippy bottoms for good and comfortable walking. Personally I don’t use flip flops but these are very nice and seem worth checking into.
It is indeed great that recycled plastic is being used to make attractive and useful new products, thereby helping to reduce the amount of plastic waste we have. Liné
Hello there! this is an amazing review you have got here. Recycling is a cool factor in production and these companies are using the advantage very well especially Adidas which is one of my favorite companies in shoe making.
Meanwhile, all the flip flop sandals in this review is great. thank you!
Hi Joy, there are some awesome choices available when it comes to flip flop sandals made of recycled materials and great they can be recycled again as well, Liné
Great article! It”s good to be aware not only of the products but also the companies that are doing their part to help the environment. The Sole flip flops are very interesting. A recycled product that also offers orthopedic support is very appealing. Telling people your shoes are made from recycled wine corks could also lead to some fascinating conversations. 🙂
Can you tell me how they hold up relative to more traditional footwear? I will definitely look into these. Thanks for the info!
Hi Linda, these flip flop sandals made of recycled materials are far better for the environment and are more durable than many of the traditional choices. And they can be recycled again at the end of their working lives. Liné
Thank you so much for sharing such a great article among us. This article is really important. I actively support companies that clean our beaches and keep plastic away from our oceans. I want everyone in the world to know about this. They deserve respect for their work. Your article was very helpful. I’m so impressed.
and, I’m a big fan of Adidas. This is a truly remarkable brand. I enjoy wearing sandal. I hope I will enjoy wearing this sandal. and, I can suggest you wear this sandal.
Lastly, I would like to share this post on my social media so everyone can know about this sandal. Thanks.
Adidas, together with Parley for the Ocean and also Stella McCartney, are doing some great work to clean our beaches. But we need more brands like that that are doing great work.We also need zero production of virgin plastic to really make a diffference as well. You are welcome to share the post.
Thank you very much for bringing about such awareness on recycled tires and plastics. It is to be appreciated that a simple flip-flop sandal could actually have such a great potential in cleaning up our oceans. We must clean up our oceans as a one time activity to save our marine species and massive campaigns initiated by ocean lovers to clean up our beaches. It is quite heartening to see there are many organisations venturing into manufacturing of flip-flop sandals which will definitely go a long way in preserving of marine life.
Flip flop sandals and thongs made of recycled plastic and rubber is helping to clean waste from our oceans and beaches. We can all help and make a difference.
An excellent article can be called. I was so surprised after reading this article that many types of sandals can be recycled.
After reading this article I found out that eco-friendly flip flops were used in making vehicle tires, recycled plastic, upcycled industrial hoses, recycled cork, and hemp. in this article, I like most Bumpers flip flops. I think this is the best.
I really enjoyed reading your article and hope you will find many more beautiful articles.
Eco friendly flip flop sandals are made from different recycled materials, which is good for the environment.
this article is cool, didn’t know this information they make sandals soles out of tires wow, I love wearing sandals during the summer, my kids wear them or try to wear them during the whole year round. I find this very interesting, you perfectly word everything very well. your out line great. details on this great. and there are even bags. awesome.
Yes Croline, there is a cool collection of producst made fo recycled plastic and other recycled materials. Flp flop sandals are a great way of utilising some of the waste materials.
thank you for sharing this it was educational and I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know about recycle products you site is great and shows how we should recycle plastics rubber and everything that will help the earth be a much cleaner place for our future and all the flip flops and clothes look very well made
Hi Michael, there is a great choice of eco friendly flip flop sandals and other product made of recycled plasctic. We can all help to recycle more and support thos brands that are working in cleaning our beaches and oceans.