Eco Friendly Shoe SOURCE.

Thongs by some accounts can be considered the oldest form of footwear. Egyptian Hieroglyphics dating 15000 BCE depict images of footwear that closely resemble the modern day flip flop. The laborious construction of ancient footwear were of organic harvested materials like, wood, leaves, plants, grass, tree bark and coconut skin. Egyptians appear to be the first to employ vegetable tanning techniques and spun flax for thread to hold the shoes together. The Egyptians, also famous for their fondness of jewelry, would adorn their thongs with beads, metals, gold and precious stones. For those of you like me wondering, the name “flip flop” derived from the sound the shoe makes when walking. Flip Flops are universal footwear and concepts of the original design appear in ancient Rome, India, Asia South Africa and other countries. Other names for flip flops include Thongs, Jandals, and Chappal.

Ancient Egyptian Sandal-15000 BCE

Ancient Egyptian Sandal 15000 BCE

Flip flops are the simplest of all shoe designs; featuring just two components, a simple sole and strap (thong) that holds the front of the foot to the shoe. What I found most interesting about these ancient shoes is that they were typically worn by men of means. Thankfully for us fashionistas, Flip flops have come a long way in that regard.

Terra Plana Dopie White-Eco

Terra Plana Dopie White-Eco Summer 2009

Flip flops evoke a carefree, relax mode. For me, other than a great pair of 4 inch heels, I live in flip flops. Thongs serve a great purpose for me; I can still look cute sporting a FABU pedi, when running to the market or just taking a stroll. Flip Flops are great alternative to sneakers.

Flip flops have crossed the threshold from just beachwear to everyday footwear. As workplaces are adopting more relaxed dress codes, it is not uncommon to see flip flops in the office. Many probably remember when some in the public went aghast as Northwestern’s Women’s Champion Lacrosse team showed up at the White House for a photo opt donning Flip Flops. Now it is not so uncommon to see thongs wearers, at casual and red carpet events. Mainstream shoe designers have channeled the Egyptians and are adorning thongs with sequins, metallic, swarovski crystals, gemstones, diamonds, and offering them in varying heel heights. Eco footwear designers seem to be inspired by the ancient origins of thongs by their use of the similar organic materials. Once again, because of its simple design, styling options for flips flops are unlimited.

These delicious Mink Shoes Thongs and are vegan. Mink never disappoints with their play on animal names for their shoes. These are called Lemur. I love the delicate petal applique that frames the sides of the foot. Perfect for that flowing sundress and matched with a flower in your hair.

Pink Lemur-Vegan

Pink Lemur-Vegan

Hip hop-eco flip-flops with a little BLING! Melissa Shoes, brings it with their patented Melflex plastic technology. There’s no sin in these thongs that are made of recycled plastic and has a delightful fruity smell added during manufacturing. The Sin+J Maskrey shoe is dazzling with the crystals on the T. This flashy eco flat is ideal for petite gals looking to elongate their legs and pairs nicely with a short jumpsuit.

Melissa Shoes Sin+J Maskrey

Melissa Plastic Dreams Shoes Sin+J Maskrey

Go for a bold look with Olsen Haus eco friendly thongs aptly named Goliath. These gladiator thongs are strong and solid with an adjustable buckle. Olsen Haus doesn’t overdo it; they’ve kept this black and tan sandal simple. This thong has a great profile from the side and the top. For a knockout look, this shoe can be coordinated with classic linen.

Olsen Haus Goliath Thongs-Vegan

Olsen Haus Goliath Thongs-Vegan

I’ve come across some very impressive eco shoe companies. Pikolinos is certainly ranks among the most impressive. They are located in Spain. Their 2009 Summer Orinoco collection was awarded the EU Eco-label. The EU Eco Label certifies that strict environmental standards are adhered to during manufacturing. It doesn’t stop there. Pikolinos, committed to reducing it’s carbon footprint has a “zero paper” policy and waste generated within the company is recycled. And on a social responsibility front Pikolinos collaborates with several social, cultural, sport and development projects. Endeavors include UNICEF; our Mundy Organization in Ancash, Peru; the Aderbissinat Community project in Tadibene, Nigeria; AMAMEC (Woman Breast Cancer Affected Association) in Elche, Spain; and, investigation projects in Elche Hospital in Spain. You can’t help but feel good with a purchase of Pikolinos.

Pikolinos Lima Summer 2009-Semi Vegan

Pikolinos Lima Summer 2009-Semi Vegan

Hopefully, I’ve provided a good start for you to consider as shop for your Summer footwear. Why not add a couple eco pair? So whether you’re off to the beach, market, dinner or special event walk like a modern Egyptian eco style.


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