Sleepers are Eco Friendly, Fairly Traded, Premium Grade Natural Rubber Flip Flops.
Our raison d’etre is simply that our oceans are flooded with plastic and as surfers we see our most treasured places turning into plastic dumps. As part of the fashion industry, we see ourselves as responsible for creating change and choose to be part of the solution!
Back in 2001, during an extended surf trip to the then civil war-torn east coast of Sri Lanka: Surf buddies (turned footwear and fashion entrepreneur’s) Tor Marius and Frode came across flip flops in natural rubber and, filled their board bags with gifts for friends and family during a factory visit. 16 years later, during an après surf, al fresco dinner at Tor Marius´ surf shack in the Canary Islands, Frode’s wife and business partner Nina asks why no one is doing flip flops she wants. She is a Central St Martins educated womenswear designer and just wants a consciously made pair with a contemporary design aesthetic that she can wear with a dress in the city or on the beach. Having recently sold a Womenswear Label they founded years earlier, Nina and Frode were on a World Tour with their two kids and was devastated to find some of their most treasured places turned into plastic dumps.
We knew flip flops to be the world’s most selling footwear, and the vast majority are made of synthetic rubber from bi products of the petroleum industry. Over two thirds of the microplastic in the ocean comes from synthetic fibers and rubber.
Tor Marius was ahead of the curve when he during the turn of the century made it his mission to introduce sustainable footwear to the Nordics and before the night was over, we had a plan to come up with a better option.
After years of researching everything from algae based to recycled compounds, we found the better option was Natural Rubber. After all we bagged close to two decades of product testing since we filled our board bags in 2001. Synthetic rubber was developed due to high demand and rising prices of natural rubber, and aware of the social injustice the plantation workers in the rubber industry was facing we knew we had to make sure we could improve the conditions of the workers.
It took us three years to set up the supply chain. And to minimize our impact we managed to set everything up in Sri Lanka where the rubber is drained from living rubber trees in a careful and sustainable process in FSC managed plantations. Together with our partner Fair Rubber Association, we ensure a fair wage and working conditions for the workers.
We chose to be part of the solution. Now come and hug a tree with us!
Nina, Tor Marius & Frode