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Every year, thousands of plastic flip-flops are discarded at beaches around the world. Presently, nearly 1.3 trillion discarded flip-flops are accounting for over 25 per cent of the trash floating in our oceans. This, in turn, is threatening the lives of many aquatic species, driving them to the helm of extinction. In addition, these flip-flops do not decompose when dumped into landfills.
A few individuals have taken the initiative to collect waste flip-flops and turn them into up-cycled art. However, their number is too few to cope with the entire magnitude of the problem.
Four friends from India, who were concerned about this crisis, decided to come up with a sustainable solution. They began their quest for a biodegradable alternative for plastic. After an arduous search, they found the perfect material in Sri Lanka and Thailand. The natural, plant-based rubber from the plantations proved to be the ideal material for biodegradable, vegan flip-flops. Thus, Caucho was born, with the aim to revolutionise the footwear domain in a greener way.
Footwear that is vegan
After a prolonged hiatus due to the worldwide pandemic, I finally planned a solo beach vacation for myself. And what’s a beach trip without a pair of vibrant flip-flops to complement your attire!
But, there was one small problem. Ever since I have been inclined towards a zero-waste lifestyle, I try to exclude plastic from my lifestyle as much as possible. So when it came to buying flip-flops, I was in a fix, until I came across the Caucho website. This was the first time I found a vegan option in the footwear department.
My initial doubts about the product were somewhat allayed after finding that celebrities like Anaita Shroff Adajania, Aadar Malik and Nauheed Cyrusi have positively endorsed the brand. The reviews from first-time users like me were also quite encouraging. Most of them mentioned about the comfort factor, added on to the vegan feature.
Slippers made from natural rubber
I ordered a pair of light blue slippers of my size (UK Size 5). I hardly buy shoes online since there is almost always a discrepancy with size from different brands. So, I was indeed sceptical about the Caucho size, especially since they were fairly new in the market and might not be that precise with their sizes.
But I was proven wrong when the flip-flops were delivered to my doorstep a few days later. The shoes were wrapped in a beautiful cloth bag with a drawstring, which can be reused for years. The light blue flip-flops looked elegant and fitted perfectly on my feet. One instant difference I felt was that the shoes were considerably lightweight, but a tad heavier than the plastic ones.
The feeling of natural rubber was evident after wearing and walking just a few steps. It definitely felt a lot different from the usual flip-flop or slippers, as it was more flexible, softer and super comfy. The sole of the shoes had a good grip which makes it easy to walk even on polished tiles, without any chance of skidding. The anti-skid factor is another feature that Caucho manufacturers have diligently incorporated in the design.
Stylish, elegant and therapeutically comfy
With a vibrant appearance, the Caucho footwear feels closer to a slipper than an outdoor flip-flop. Perhaps that is what makes the product stand out.
There are still a few days left for my vacation, but I still cannot bring myself to pack the Caucho flip-flops. These feel so comfortable and cosy, that I have ditched my everyday slippers and wearing the Caucho flip-flops 24×7 around the house.
While talking about the appearance, it must be mentioned that Caucho has steered clear of the usual bright colours in their flip-flops and opted for rarer pastel shades which make the shoes more elegant. Instead of neon green, orange or yellow, one can avail these flip-flops in subtle shades like olive green, black, purple, navy blue or grey. They have kept separate colour and design options for men and women. The classy colours make the flip-flops suitable to wear anywhere and everywhere. Personally, I would not mind teaming them even with a formal dress, ignoring the frowns I get.
My parents’ anniversary is coming up soon and I have already planned to add a pair of Caucho slippers for both of them in the gift hamper. It definitely is an unusual gift, but I am sure my parents would love to use them regularly, especially my mother, who had once suffered from severe ankle pain from wearing those stylish, but uncomfortable heels.
Footprints that wash away!
On the Caucho website, one can find a detailed flowchart of the entire manufacturing process for the flip-flops. The brand believes in transparency, and also plans to raise awareness about natural, eco-friendly ingredients through their product.
The footwear is designed and manufactured by rubber farmers in Thailand. The founders ensure that the farmers and their families involved with Caucho are compensated well, so that they can lead a decent life as well. “Each pair is therefore a patronage to a farming family. It is also a pledge to a sustainable lifestyle – a way to reduce your negative impact on the planet,” declares the Caucho Team.
Aside from being 100% vegan, Caucho flip-flops are essentially cruelty-free. With no presence of toxic chemicals, they do not need to test any of their product constituents on animals. Not only this, the rubber used for the shoes is extracted with the age-old process of rubber tapping, that does not harm the tree in any way.
Using meticulous research, they have also infused the shoes with anti-bacterial properties. This means that no matter how long you wear the shoes at a stretch, there would be no risk of sweating, bad odour and bacterial/fungal infections on your feet.
Caucho flip-flops are definitely the need of the hour. Imagine a vacation where you can wearing vegan flip-flops, sustainable beachwear and sipping a cocktail with a steel or bamboo straw. You can have a gala time for yourself without having to worry about the planet at all.
That is the lifestyle mantra Caucho believes in. Thus goes their tagline – “Use Caucho, leave footprints that wash away!” That means you can finally wear a shoe that leaves no carbon footprint when discarded.