Though generally considered as inauspicious footwear, the flip flops have divine origins, it was the footwear of gods. Perhaps it is no surprise then that flip flops have a history of being worn by royalty. In the 14th century, Chinese Admirals began wearing them as they patrolled their seas, and soon they were wearing them at court. In 17th century Japan, women occupying high station in the royal Imperial Court wore various types flip flops as indoor slippers, and eventually as shoes outside the house, though not without much coaxing by Emperor Meiji who declared them “indecent and unbecoming for women of high standing” and commanded that "the people of Japan should scrupulously avoid things that were copied from barbarians".
Why is it the perfect footwear for free spirits?
The idea that style can be deeply meaningful goes back to Plato, who thought that true beauty couldn’t exist in any object that wasn’t also useful. A corollary of this is that design has no meaning without irony. The truth behind the vernacular is always more interesting than its form.
Starting in the 1970s, cheap flip flops began to be made of plastic. Given the very disposable nature of cheaply made flip flops they have grown into a serious environmental disaster with tons and tons of discarded flip flops washing ashore globally each year. Whether it’s about the environment or the economy, the message you get is that everyone needs to do more to reverse these alarming trends. It’s your fault. You don’t recycle enough. You eat too much meat. You use too much plastic. You should really think about reusing your water bottle instead of buying a new one every week.
Now the biggest problem we all face is that we, as a society and as consumers, place an enormous value on convenience and cosmetics and give very little cognizance to whether our stuff is made ethically, environmentally-friendly or health-consciously. At Solethreads we make sure that all the material that goes into the production of our flip flops does not harm the environment. The future is green and it’s time we all jumped on board to save the planet. A step in the right direction for sure.
Growing up we all wish we could go back to the days when the problems seemed so much smaller, life so much simpler and easier, but now as adults we know this is not to be. We must live with the decisions made in the past, whether good or bad. So why fight it? Realise that change can be a good thing. Realise how far you have come. Stop what you're doing, stand still you're only getting older. Stare at your feet, you're standing in your flip flop prints, look up, you're standing where you always wanted to be. Realise that no matter how much time passes, one thing remains constant - that everything changes except ourselves - including ourselves - and it is time to make a difference.
It is no less than a modern-day Cinderella story. A cheaply made, modest looking shoe that has become the staple of the summer wardrobe of almost every woman, has found its way into being donned by Royalty, striding down runways by designers of distinction, and gracing the feet of the most beautiful women in the world. What makes flip flops so great? Dedicated fans will tell you that they are the perfect shoe. If you’re not sold on this argument consider these benefits: Flip flops are classy, comfortable, versatile, and essential for summer. They will never break your heart, call you out in the middle of a date. Plus, they're cheap! Flip flops: who would have thought that seemingly insignificant footwear could become a national treasure? ...When it comes to the humble flip flop, the truth is out there.
What is the flip flop's secret to universal appeal? Its origin represents a fleeting moment in time, an ideal that forever stands out as 'the good life.'