Flip-flops help fight water scarcity
The buy one, give one model is branching out. SmartPlanet's Sumi Das shares how shoemaker Freewaters is improving drinking water standards in Africa.
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>> Hello, and welcome to Sumi Smart Picks. I'm Sumi Das, and each week I'll tell you about a clever product that in one way or another helps us live cleaner, greener lives. My pick this week, Freewaters phonetic flip-flops. What makes them smart? The founders of Freewaters are shoe makers with a social conscience. For every pair of shoes purchased, the company will provide clean drinking water to one person for an entire year. According to Unicef, 900 million people in the world don't have access to safe, clean drinking water. And the folks at Freewaters want to change that, one pair of flip-flops at a time. Beyond their philanthropic mission though, the company also incorporates green materials in many of their products. So for example, on this model these straps are lined with recycled plastic bottles, and the out soles of many models use recycled rubber. There are plenty of styles to choose from, here we have just a few -- the Magic Carpet, the Dude, and the Belenis phonetic. I've actually been wearing this pair for the last few days, and once I broke them in, I actually found that they felt pretty good on my feet. I like the fact that they had some arch support, which often flip-flops lack. Many online reviewers raved about the comfort factor, but some were griping a little bit about the price. This pair for example, runs 80 dollars. That's a little bit spendy. Most people justified the expense because of the good that the company does though. Freewaters has been focusing its initial efforts in Kenya, where they've already been digging wells. They hope to expand in the future, and provide water worldwide. That is my pick for this week, Freewaters flip-flops. Check back next week for more.