I was recently approached by Fresh Cargo to review a pair of their fair trade Maasai tread flip flops, I have to say I had mixed feelings, you see me and flip flops have never really got along and believe me I have tried quite a few. I like the understated looks of a good flip flop for the right occasion of course, but they tend to rub me up the wrong way and in a matter of minutes I'm left with red welts from unyielding toe posts. On the other hand I was keen to find out more about fairtrade footwear with such great ethics and share it here.
My brown flip flops arrived in a recycled plastic carrier bag not particularly pretty, but certainly in keeping with the companies ethics, they came with a really informative brochure, featuring the various colours they offer( they carry pink, purple, blue and black versions as well as a mens style featuring a broader strap) and a detailed history about production of the Maasai tread flip flops and the ethics behind them ( Personally I love having detailed information about my clothing and shoe wear purchases, what's gone into making it, brings what I purchased to life and helps me understand its true value) from a fairtrade perspective I was very impressed!
• The shoes are made all by hand by Massai tribesman in Kenya supporting local employment and industry (fairtrade)
• 5% of profits are donated to the Born Free foundation, which rescues big cats, great apes and elephants providing them with food and care
• The sole of the shoe is made by recycling old car tyres
• The uppers are made from 100% hemp, which uses less chemicals than cotton, is more durable, warmer and more water resistant
• They feature a sweet and very discreet label on the one of the straps that reads Maasai Treads as well as the fresh cargo label on the sole, which I liked.
Comfort and Style
At last a flip flop that actually does not rub! The rubber toe posts are lovely and soft and pliable, Fresh Cargo were right to wax lyrical about the quality of the materials used and the craftsmanship of the Maasai tribesmen. The double row of stitching is impeccable and the hessian does feel warm underfoot, although the grain of the hemp is slightly coarser than I Imagined it might be, it adds depth to the colour. The treads on the flip flops are flexible and not surprisingly provided great traction even on my slippery laminate flooring.
From a style point of view these people know how to elevate the humble flip flop, but I have to say sizing permitting, I would be inclined to order a pair of fresh cargo Maasai treads from the men's range as well, as they offer a wider strap in black which contrasts with the colour of the bright sole and I think this adds additional impact, which would work well with my jeans. Check them out and let me know if you think this style works for us gals too.
please note - I received these Massai Treads as compensation for my review for freshcargo.co.uk