FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHO ARE SEA SENSE?
Sea Sense was established in January 2020. We are a group of committed people who realise that change needs to happen now, in order for our oceans to survive our global plastic addiction. We are from different backgrounds and are of different nationalities, but we were drawn together because of our shared passion to protect our planet.
HOW ARE YOUR FLIP FLOPS MADE?
Our flip flops are made from natural rubber, sourced from rubber tree farms in Vietnam. The rubber is coloured using natural dyes. The rubber is then made into our beautiful flip flops using "cookie-cutter" moulds.
HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT THE FLIP FLOPS ARE MADE ETHICALLY?
Our natural rubber comes from Vietnam. Our manufacturing process meets the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) standard which ensures the staff are paid a fair wage and work in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
We have recognised by PETA as an Approved Vegan company. This allows consumers to shop with confidence, safe in the knowledge that we are not supporting the exploitation of animals.
We are a Climate Positive company, meaning that we don't just offset our carbon footprint and the carbon footprint that comes from delivering your flip flops to you, but we are actually in credit!
HOW DOES NATURAL RUBBER BIODEGRADE?
Do not fear, just because our flip flops are biodegradable, it doesn't mean they will start falling apart as you are wearing them. When you are finished with your flip flops, you can send them back to us and we will recycle them, or you can compost them. Importantly, wherever your flip flops end up, they won't release any toxic chemicals like plastics do.
Here comes the science! Natural rubber is biodegradable for two reasons: because of natural oxidisation and chemical reaction to the environment, and because relatively common bacteria and fungi are able to break rubber down for use over their life cycles.
Natural rubber can be enzymatically broken into molecules helpful to microorganisms, creating water and carbon dioxide or methane as a byproduct. Some of these microorganisms get a boost when the chemistry of the environments starts the process through oxidisation.
Soils with a lot of microbial activity and complex compositions can accelerate this biodegradation.
Synthetic rubbers and plastics used in most flip flops do not break down this way, as microorganisms have not evolved to use them.
HOW CAN WE GUARANTEE TO COLLECT 1 MILLION PLASTIC BOTTLES EACH YEAR?
We will collect as many plastic bottles as we can, but we will collect other plastics too, we aren't fussy, as they are all a threat to our oceans; these include plastic flip flops, plastic bags, fishing nets, and other plastic items. At a minimum, in our first year, we want to collect the equivalent 1 million plastic bottles, which is 20,000kgs of plastic. We use a real time map provided by Empower to demonstrate our impact.
As we grow, we will commit to collect more plastic year on year, with the target of collecting 10 million plastic bottles in 2030. We will be transparent and share our collection results monthly on our website, with an annual report published showing more detail of our achievements. In order for this project to be successful, we are committed to being transparent with you.
WHY SHOULD I MOVE AWAY FROM MY REGULAR FLIP FLOP BRAND?
Sea Sense flip flops have all the qualities of the more popular brands, but we have made improvements where we thought they fell short. We conducted market research before we designed the flip flops, and spoke to thousands of you. You told us the flip flop we should design, and that is exactly what we did. We make a traditional thong flip flop, but we have made several upgrades. Using natural rubber we have helped to avoid rubbing and blisters, they are also incredibly elastic and durable so you will avoid those annoying toe plug blowouts. They have less impact on your joints due to the nature of the natural rubber, which is supportive, and moulds to your foot.
We also do more with your money than other popular brands do. Our focus is on supporting organisations and individuals to stop plastic from entering our oceans and to help pay them a vital wage for doing so. We are also the only flip flop in the world that will use profits to collect at least 1 million ocean-bound plastic bottles, each year, and provide a vital wage to plastic collectors in developing countries, enabling them to escape poverty.