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Why are sustainable flip-flops difficult to find in India?

The footwear industry is quite a remarkable section in India. India stands at the second position after China with respect to global footwear production, accounting for 13% of the production of 16 billion pairs of shoes. According to World Footwear Yearbook 2020, India has a market share of 11.6% in 2019.

But how much does the Indian footwear market gives a thought to sustainability?

Most footwear that is being exported from India, such as dress shoes, casuals, sports shoes, sandals, and chappals which also include flip-flops, are mainly made up of plastic, PVC, rubber, and other materials.

As we know, plastics and PVCs are non-biodegradable materials, hence, act hazardous to our environment. Even all forms of rubbers aren’t biodegradable. Only natural rubbers are capable of biodegradation!

Coming to flip-flops, most popular by the name Hawai chappals in Indian households, were first popularized by Paragon in 1975 with its famous blue-white flip and flop slippers.

Why are sustainable flip-flops difficult to find in India?

In recent years, funky flip-flops have become popular because of their convenience as well as comfort. According to Lyst, an online fashion search business, searches for flip-flops slippers have surged to 53%.

So, now the question arises, why is it difficult to find sustainable flip-flops in India?

Well, firstly, our production system is not focused on sustainability yet!

Secondly, lack of proper knowledge about sustainability among customers and entrepreneurs can be a reason.

Although well-renowned companies, mostly of foreign origin, have already come up with sustainable natural rubber flip-flops, they are all the expensive ones. This can only be affordable for the people belonging to a particular section of our society. Thus, leaving a huge population of people from affording sustainable flip-flops.

There have been a few startups where entrepreneurs are focusing on bringing sustainability from the grassroots level. From production materials to packaging, nowadays most customers are also looking for the best flip-flops which are durable and biodegradable.

But the number of companies that are focusing on sustainable flip-flops isn’t much.

Well, it’s also very important to know that change won’t be happening overnight.

Along with proper funding and innovation in the footwear industry, it is also necessary to educate people about sustainability and how each one of us can be responsible to make a positive impact on our environment.

According to the global footwear market, it is expected that the footwear industry might grow by 12.83% within the years 2021 to 2028. Also, according to Statista’s analysis, revenues from the footwear industry amount to 9352m USD in 2022 and can rise annually up to 13.53% (CAGR 2022-2025).

It is evident from all this statistical jargon that the footwear market in India is booming rapidly. But it’s high time that along with our economic concerns, we all become aware of sustainability.

It was also difficult for NoStrain to find biodegradable materials as well as factories to manufacture 100% natural rubber flip-flops. Still, we managed to use sustainable materials in our products. Here is the link to check our rubber flip-flops collection,

Why are sustainable flip-flops difficult to find in India?