New Melbourne-Born Label Flipslide Is Doing a Grown-Up Take on Havaianas

Written for Broadsheet

After spending some of her career working in fast fashion, Flipslide founder Rebecca Rennie wanted to create something a bit more sustainable.

“A simple shoe that wouldn’t go in and out of fashion, and could be made from natural materials and with minimal waste,” she says.

Rennie’s worked in product development, design, buying and production for wholesale and retail labels including Cotton On and Mimco for the last 10 years, and had always dreamed of starting her own label.

Then, while on maternity leave last year, she launched a crowdfunding campaign that ended up raising more than $11,000.

The funds allowed her to launch Flipslide, a footwear label that combines elements of both thongs and slides.

A set of Flipslides costs $29, and the shoes have two straps that can be adjusted to best fit your foot. They’re pigmented with eco-friendly dyes and come in three colours – black, dusty rose and eucalyptus – and small, medium and large sizes.

“I grew up wearing Havaianas all the time,” Rennie says. “Then I just kind of stopped wearing them one day when my last pair broke. So I was trying to create an alternative to that easy, go-to slip-on shoe for the beach and beyond.”

Unlike some other thongs which use synthetic rubber (derived from petroleum and harmful to the environment), every component of a pair of Flipslides is made from sustainably sourced all-natural rubber. The rubber is tapped from trees (much like maple syrup is extracted from a maple tree) in south-eastern China, near the label’s production facility.

“The design really evolved from a lot of trial and error and cardboard mock-ups,” Rennie says. “I hadn’t worked with natural rubber before, so there was a lot of learning along the way. Colour-wise, I was inspired by nature; there are so many beautiful colours in our landscapes and flora that I love.”

The shoes are waterproof, durable, and feel supportive and comfortable. “And [there’s no] annoying toe post,” Rennie says.

You can also customise your Flipslides by mixing and matching strap and sole sizes, which can cater for very narrow or wide feet.

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