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July 28, 2020

Even though flip flops are thought of as summer shoes, they can be used any time of year. It is primarily modern Western culture that gives the impression that flip flops are cheap, casual shoes that should be avoided. Instead, they should be viewed as an adaptable, sustainable sandal that can be used in a wide range of settings. Knowing how flip flop history is viewed in other cultures can highlight the value they bring to the wardrobe as well as your lifestyle.

Photo by Sharefaith from Pexels

In the East, flip flops have been used for generations as comfortable, simple shoes. One of the many benefits they offer is that they are easy to remove upon entering the home, which is a common custom in many Asian countries. Rather than spending time untying and removing shoes, people wear flip flops, which can be easily slipped off and left at the door before entering the home. Since they are used so commonly, they can be found to coordinate with any outfit, from business professional to weekend casual. The history of flip flops in Asia is so long, people aren't surprised to see them worn with all kinds of outfits.

Japan - Photo by Bagus

In Japan, Zori sandals, which are wooden or straw-soled sandals, are proudly worn with a traditional Japanese kimono or yukata. They are selected to coordinate with the traditional clothing, and effectively complete the overall look. This foundation in traditional Japanese attire has established these sandals as acceptable shoes that can be worn in formal or casual settings. They are also made with natural, sustainable materials, which makes the more traditional style more eco-friendly and sustainable.

Monk Photo by Sarbajit Sen from Pexels

In India, Tibetan Buddhism has made flip flops a part of common culture, as well. There is a sense of minimalism in Buddhism, so those who practice this spiritual path aren't concerned with fancy shoes. Instead, their needs are met simply. In fact, the Dalai Lama, who represents Tibetan Buddhism in India and the rest of the world, wears flip flops exclusively. Sometimes he even wears modernly-designed flip flops. Along with simplicity, Buddhism teaches walking gently in the world. Buddhists strive to have as minimal a negative impact on other living beings as possible. Flip flops history are light, simple shoes that are unlikely to cause damage as Buddhists move through the world. In this way, flip flops are kind to the environment when they are used.

Flip flops are also often worn in martial arts schools. Martial arts are typically practiced barefoot, and flip flops can be easily removed, making them a good choice for students. In addition, those who practice martial arts may choose to wear flip flops as part of their daily life. Since they can be removed easily, flip flops allow the martial artist to take action in any situation.

Along with the beauty of flip flops seen from other cultures, these sandals can also be highly sustainable and environmentally-friendly. Since their design is simple, they can be easily made with sustainable materials. You don't need plastic, which is not biodegradable, or leather, which requires killing animals, to make flip flops. In fact, many flip flops in Asia are still made with natural plant fibers or wood. 

The fashion industry is a consumer industry. Fashions change quickly, requiring people to get rid of out-of-date fashions and bring in something new and trendy. Flip flops, on the other hand, transcend changing fashions. Since they can be dressed up or down, use sustainable materials, and can coordinate with anything you wear, you can use them year after year. That keeps the materials out of landfills (even if they are biodegradable sandals) in order to help protect the earth.

Faye Delanty Sustainable Fashion Blogger

Wearing flip flops isn't just for a day at the beach. With a long, rich history, these simple sandals can be coordinated with any outfit and add a simple, beautiful flair to your wardrobe. For those who value sustainable styles, natural-material flip flops are gentle to the environment and can look good for a long time. Whether you're looking for the finishing touch for flip flops martial arts or you want to create your own signature look that draws from the simple beauty of flip flops history, you can find the perfect sandals to go with whatever wardrobe you have.


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