About this project
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Why natural rubber flip-flops?
Almost every flip-flop and sandal available to buy is made of synthetic materials. This sounds harmless. But these materials are made of chemicals that can be detrimental to your health.
Don’t take our word for it - just do a Google image search for “flip-flop rash” and see for yourself. Searcher beware - the images are shocking. You can only imagine what these type of flip-flops do to the environment if they’re capable of doing that to your foot!
To add insult to injury (literally) not only are these shoes ruining you and the world around you, they’re also not-that-comfortable. For the exorbitant prices we pay for “quality” flip-flops it would be expected to get the feeling of walking on a bed of marshmallows through sand-filled paradise.
Yet, you know the truth.
They often wear down easily (and quickly), the toe plug - that pesky part between your toes - is too thick and causes skin rub - or peeling at worse, and often times there’s just no support. All these crazy problems - that really shouldn’t exist - I realized on my journey to find the perfect sandal.
When I realized what I was looking for wasn’t out there, I knew I had to create it.
That’s when I went searching for natural ingredients to build the perfect flip-flop. And yes, I mean “ingredients” because natural rubber is harvested from nature's well - trees - via the sap they produce!
At this point I wish the journey ended and I presented to you a fantastic natural rubber flip-flop - we’re getting there! - but unfortunately it doesn’t end there.
As I set out to find natural rubber to add to the perfect flip-flop I found myself in the countryside of India and the backwoods of Sri Lanka at rubber plantations. It was deep in these plantations the exploitative nature of the rubber industry became very clear.
You wouldn’t believe the despair just to get a bucket of raw rubber.
Workers living in the most despicable conditions, getting paid outrageously meager wages, and treated like the lowest of low.
This reality is far worse than the harshness of bad chemicals or uncomfortable overpriced flip-flops.
I wanted no part in this.
So I set out to find rubber harvested on fair terms, rubber that cared for it’s people at every step of the process.
That’s when the full idea for the perfect flip-flop was born.
That's when Olli was born.
Thus began my journey to find natural FAIR TRADE rubber.
Olli flip-flops would not only be better for the environment, but better for those involved in production.
I joined the Fair Rubber Association, which means Olli only purchases rubber from audited plantations that maintain Fair Trade standards that include safe working conditions, medical care, and a fair wage. We pay a premium for our rubber which goes directly to the rubber tappers.
The OLLI "Perfect Flip-Flop"
I’ve literally been wearing my Olli perfect flip-flops almost every day for the past 6 months - with the exception of the unforgiving Ohio winter; frostbite doesn’t need to be a part of this story.
At first I was wearing them everyday just to test the true durability and then after about 3 months of non-stop wear they became an extension of my foot.
Now the time has come to present to you the Olli perfect flip-flop; fit for - almost - every occasion.
OLLI Special Kickstarter Packages
Get your pair of Olli flip-flops while the price is special. See the reward levels below and choose your reward on the right...
Every purchase changes a life.
When you buy an Olli perfect flip-flop you’re buying more than just a flip-flop. You’re directly impacting the livelihood of the person that made the flip-flop.
Sudhan is able to retire with an extra retirement fund provided by the monies directly provided by the Fair Rubber Association. Money directly related to the production of the Olli flip-flops.
It’s not just an extra retirement fund that Sudhan is receiving. He also gets his very own rubber tree - to own for himself! This will provide him with an extra source of ongoing income as he is able to sell what he taps from the rubber tree, for profit.
Rubber tappers like Sudhan are receiving similar generosities because of the consumers who buy fair trade rubber. Because of you!
Other rubber tappers have received university scholarships, rebuilt schools for their children, infrastructure projects for deeply outdated villages, clean water wells, and much much more.
You are making all of this possible.
And we’re excited to partner with you to make it a reality.
But listen... we're not just wingin' it!
For the better part of two years we’ve been on the search to pinpoint quality and reliable partners to complete our natural rubber perfect flip-flop. Not only do we have the “making” part down to a science, we also assembled “shipping and logistics” partners that we’ve rigorously tested with numerous sample runs. With our supply chain tested and complete the only missing element to the chain is YOU. Here is the timeline you can count on to deliver your Olli perfect flip-flop to your feet.
Let’s Change Flip-Flops Together
And, while we’re at it, why not change the world together?!
With less than the cost for a replacement charger to your iPhone - that you’ve lost for the countless time - you can help bring the first natural rubber flip-flop to life! The truth is, without you Olli can’t exist and we can’t champion the cause for fair trade across the rubber industry and hopefully across ALL industries in the near future. Let’s make brand consciousness a norm across fashion. Buy yourself a pair of extremely comfortable and simply stylish Olli perfect flip-flops.
OLLI for ALL
We know you’re not alone. There is someone you know that wants to know about Earth’s favorite flip-flop.
Share our Fair Trade natural rubber perfect flip-flops with your friends using our share links here:
Risks and challenges
We're excited to launch Olli, Earth’s favorite flip-flop. It's unique design is simple yet highly important. It's far more than a concept or idea, it's already a production ready flip-flop.
We have preliminary agreements in place with our manufacturers and logistic companies. But there still might be a risk of delay due to unforeseen circumstances, since challenges tend to arise during production. But we're prepared to tackle these challenges, having teamed up with product developers with decades of experience in the field.
Our mission with Olli is to make fair trade a standard with fashion brands the world over while still providing the highest quality products in the world. And we won't rest until Olli is between your toes!
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