14 best eco-friendly flip flops UK for a sustainable summer

14 best eco-friendly flip flops UK for a sustainable summer

Eco friendly flip flops on the beach

There’s nothing that finishes off a beach outfit quite like a good pair of flip flops. However, often made from plastics and unsustainable rubbers, finding eco-friendly flip flops in the UK can be a challenge for the ethical consumer.

While the UK ethical flip flop market may not be an extensive sector, some fantastic brands are creating styles perfect for every warm summer day.

Why Do We Need Sustainable Flip Flops?

Cheap, and often unsustainable, flip flops can be bought for as little as a few pounds and can be picked up in most seaside towns. Worn for one summer season, these flip flops are then often thrown away, broken or simply get lost. However, this cheap, convenient summer footwear is causing a major ocean pollution crisis.

Close to three billion flip flops are made every year, these three billion annual flip flops have gone on to become 25% of plastic pollution in the world’s ocean. While these numbers may cast a shadow on our favourite casual summer footwear, the good news is that some companies are forging a different path.

Creating flip flops from natural and recycled materials and promoting a circular system, companies are emerging that are creating ethical and sustainable styles.

While producing ethical and sustainable flip flops may not seem as glamorous as some of the rest of the sustainable fashion market, these brands fill a vital void. They help to protect our incredible oceans and natural environments and give conscious consumers a great summer flip flop option.

UK Eco-Friendly Flip Flop Brands

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Pink flip flops on beach
Photo by Gilles Seguin on Unsplash

So, where can you find ethical flip flops in the UK? Well, we have compiled some of the coolest, sleekest, and of course sustainable, options so you can channel those summer vibes sustainably!

1.

Waves   

Based: UK                Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Sri Lanka
Range: Men’s, women’s and unisex styles
Price: £15 – £25
Sustainability creds: Recycling Initiatives, SMETA certified factory, FSC certified natural rubber, non-toxic dye

Committed to keeping microplastics out of the ocean, all Waves flip flops are crafted from 100% natural rubber. This sustainable brand uses FSC certified rubber and natural rubber recycled from worn-out flip flops to create its trendy footwear.

Focused on quality and sustainability, Waves designs feature funky patterns and high-tensile strength rubber toe straps, so you can rest easy knowing your new favourite flip flops will last for years to come. They also offer free shipping in the UK.

2.

Etiko 

Based: Australia                Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Sri Lanka
Range: Men’s and women’s styles
Price: £18
Sustainability creds: Fairtrade, B Corp Certified, supports charitable programs, use of natural and recycled materials

Etiko flip flops are sustainable, feature cool graphic designs and help to support worthy causes too. 10% of each purchase goes to organisations such as Free the Bears and Sea Sheperd.

With a focus on sustainable production, styles are made in Fairtrade supply chains and created from recycled and natural rubber.

3.

Matt & Nat

Based: Canada              Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Italy
Range: Women’s styles
Price: £23
Sustainability creds: Cruelty free and vegan

While the Matt & Nat range may be limited, it’s well worth consideration. Believing that animals and the environment should be protected, all the sleek styles from this ethical brand are vegan.

As well as its cruelty-free commitment, the brand has had some seriously stylish ambassadors including Charlize Theron and Nathalie Portman.

For more on vegan shoe brands, see our guide The best vegan shoe brands to give you a conscience free spring in your step.

Photo by Evan Krause on Unsplash

4.

Gumbies   

Based: UK                Ships to: Internationally
Range: Men’s, women’s, and children’s styles
Price: £20 – £30
Sustainability creds: Supports tree planting and ocean clean up programs, use of natural and recycled materials, EOCA member, sustainable packaging, BSCI compliant factories

Inspired by a spirit of adventure, Gumbies makes footwear that is trendy, practical and made to last. These enviable flip flops have recycled rubber soles to provide protection and durability, and canvas and jute straps to promote ultimate comfort. The various ranges incorporate everything from cork to organic cotton.

With designs that feature tranquil sea turtles, stylized flowers or beach-inspired stripes, Gumbies have a summer style for every personal taste.

5.

Reef

Based: UK               Ships to: UK
Range: Men’s and women’s and children’s styles
Price: £20 – £40 
Sustainability creds: Partnered with and founder of sustainable and social initiatives, involved in beach clean up efforts

Created from a love for the beach, Reef is the home of laid-back, eco-friendly flip flops for UK consumers. Reef styles support quality, comfort, and sustainable practices. Believing that the beach is connected to our wellbeing, Reef is a founder of the Reef X Surfrider Better Beach Alliance.

To date, Reef’s impact includes 8,000 beach clean-ups and one million pounds of rubbish cleaned up from around the world.

6.

Okabashi

Based: USA               Ships to: Internationally – also available through Amazon
Made in: USA
Range: Men’s and women’s styles
Price: $25 (roughly £20 on current exchange rates, May 2022)
Sustainability creds: Recycled and recyclable materials, phthalate-free, BPA free, partnered with Sole4Souls

Focused on a theme of wellness, Okabashi creates footwear that promotes foot health and comfort. With superior arch support, massage beads and quality guarantees, these are flip flops you won’t want to take off.

Okabashi styles are recyclable and incorporate recycled materials as well as being BPA, latex and phthalate-free.

Flip flops and sunhat on beach
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

7.

FoamLife 

Based: UK                Ships to: Internationally
Range: Men’s and women’s styles
Price: £25 – £35
Sustainability creds: Vegan, PVC free, use of recycled materials, supports Surfers Not Street Children

Created by artists, musicians and athletes, and with a belief that life is better in flip flops, FoamLife is on a journey to help the planet. Eco-Friendly and vegan flip flops from this sustainably-minded brand incorporate recycled EVA foam, have toe posts made from recycled plastic bottles and upper straps made from hemp canvas.

Committed to sustainable practices, even the packaging the brand uses is sustainable.

8.

Sea Sense 

Based: UK                Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Vietnam
Range: Men’s and women’s styles
Price: £26
Sustainability creds: Supports ocean clean-up programs, PETA approved manufacturing process, use of natural materials, Climate Positive

With flip flops coming in block colours and made from natural materials, Sea Sense styles are the casual summer footwear choice we all deserve. The brand has a range of both men’s and women’s styles and is committed to making a positive impact.

Sea Sense supports plastic waste clean up programs operating around the world. As of February 2022 it had saved over one million plastic bottles from polluting the ocean.

9.

Feel Goodz 

Based: USA                Ships to: Internationally – Also available through Amazon
Made in: Thailand, Vietnam, India, Nepal
Range: Men’s and women’s styles
Price: £23 – £57
Sustainability creds: Use of natural materials, ethical supply chain, supports artisan makers

Made by artisans and designed for everyday comfort, Feel Goodz flip flops are sure to leave you feeling great. Coming in classic colours and styles, these easy-to-wear flip flops champion natural rubber. The Zen range also incorporates vegan leather, recycled rice husks and premium arch support.

Made with ethical practices, Feel Goodz styles are perfect for summer! Feel Goodz eco-friendly flip flops are available in the UK through Amazon or the company’s website.

Guy walking down street in eco friendly flip flops
Photo by Larry Snickers on Pexels

10.

Ethletic 

Based: Germany                Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Rubber from Sri Lankan farms
Range: Men’s, women’s and unisex styles
Price: €30 – €35
Sustainability creds: Fairtrade, PETA approved Vegan, FSC certified materials, living wage in supply chain

The Fair Flip range from Ethletic has a minimalistic style. These casual flip flops are the ultimate footwear for a day at the beach, are made in an ethically certified supply chain and are PETA approved.

The brand has both men’s and women’s styles in a range of hues, including tropical inspired blues and cranberry red.

11.

TOMS

Based: Europe               Ships to: Internationally – UK stores
Range: Men’s and women’s styles
Price: £30 – £35
Sustainability creds: B Corp Certified, vegan sandals available, use of recycled materials, supports grassroots movements

TOMS flip flops are more than a convenient footwear style, they are chic enough to be worn wherever your summer adventures take you. Featuring groovy patterns and tasteful colour palettes, these flip flops are fashionable and fun.

The brand offers vegan styles and incorporates recycled materials in its production. With features like arch support and padded straps, these flip flops are stylish, sustainable and comfortable. For those looking for eco-friendly flip flops in the UK, TOMS has a range of UK stockists.

12.

Asportuguesus   

Based: Portugal               Ships to: Europe – Available through Amazon in the UK
Made in: Portugal
Range: Men’s and women’s styles
Price: €30 – €55
Sustainability creds: Sustainable materials, negative carbon footprint, supports the local economy

Asportugeusas flip flops are produced from natural cork in a process that doesn’t cut down a single tree. By harvesting the cork products from trees with self-regenerating bark, Asportugeusas creates cool cork flip flops that are comfortable and stylish, created from trees that can live for another 200 years.

Through its unique production process, the company is carbon negative and makes a conscious effort to tread lightly on the Earth. You can also buy from Amazon.

Girl on beach with flip flop nearby
Photo by Salvador Martin Yeste on Unsplash

13.

Komodo 

Based: UK               Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Indonesia
Range: Women’s styles
Price: £35 – £38
Sustainability creds: Recycled materials, vegan, member of the Soil Association

One of the long-standing brands in sustainable clothing, Komodo’s range of flip flops is chic, stylish and always in fashion. Perfect for a day at the beach or fashionable enough to be styled for a laid-back summer afternoon, these handmade footwear pieces are always on-trend.

The brand uses recycled tyres and other recycled materials to create sustainable styles.

14.

Original Cork

Based: Portugal                Ships to: Internationally
Range: Men’s, women’s, and children’s styles
Price: €40
Sustainability creds: Vegan, recyclable, made from natural materials

As the name may suggest, Original Cork flip flops are crafted from the wonderful material of cork. Comfortable, vegan and even hypoallergenic, eco-friendly flip flops from this commendable company are sure to become new favourites.

Inspired by a lack of eco-friendly options in the market, the team behind Original Cork set out to make a difference and create a flip flop option for conscious consumers. A decade later, Original Cork has stores across Europe and the US.

Making This Summer Sustainable

Flip flops are a staple of the summer season. But as the weather turns warmer and we all start searching for our favourite footwear styles, spare a thought for the environment. Buying from eco-friendly brands supports a more sustainable future and helps to stop the mountains of plastic pollution plaguing our seas.

Whether you want trendy cork flip flops, or groovy, vibrantly patterned footwear, you can score a great sustainable style. Finding eco-friendly flip flops in the UK helps us all step into a sustainable summer. 

For more for your eco-friendly summer wardrobe, check out our guides on affordable sustainable swimwear, sustainable summer dresses and eco friendly sunglasses.

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