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Combat Flip Flops

Coming soon to a foot near you are Combat Flip Flops.

One of the major issues in Afghanistan is developing a robust economy. It’s one of the best ways to combat the insurgency. Put people to work and let them develop a stake in their way of life. A couple of American entrepreneurs saw this first hand and decided to do something about it. Their answer is Combat Flip Flops.

All Models are made with Super comfortable recycled Leather straps and footbeds with heat stamped graphics, a chunky EVA midsole and rubber outsole. All materials are sourced from Afghanistan, assembled by Afghans in a professional environment, and packaged with recycled material from combat uniforms, boots, or tactical equipment.

When you look at the various models you will notice a few embellishments that scream Afghanistan. For example, the use of the poppy and 7.62 x 39 head stamps. Look for Combat Flip Flops to be available by the first of the year. Interested retailers contact them NOW to get in on this. These are going to be big.

combatflipflops.com

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9 Responses to “Combat Flip Flops”

  1. Buckaroomedic says:

    Kind of like a modern version of the “Ho Chi Minh sandal” eh? They’d be even cooler if they were made out of the tread from humvee tires . . .

  2. Justaleg says:

    60 a pop? Aint gonna happen

  3. DA says:

    “So, when you buy a pair of Combat Flip Flops, a factory has to tool up, train skilled labor, develop a quality product and ship an end item made of more than the sum of its parts. On this side of the world you get shoes. That’s cool. Afghanis are empowered to be creative and benefit their own lives, families and country. That’s change.”

    Afghani’s? Really? Thats the currency over here. Pretty rookie mistake for folks that supposedly have a factory over here.

    I’ll believe these are made in Afghanistan when I see the pic’s.

    China more likely.

    And 60 bucks a pop?

    90% profit, 5% shipping, 4% materials and overhead, 1% goes back to the afghans I bet.

    • Administrator says:

      How many pairs will you buy when I get pics showing them being made there? Seriously, you made an allegation. When you are proven wrong how many pairs will you purchase?

  4. DA says:

    Admin,

    I’ve been a long time reader and usually don’t have issue with what your take on things but apparently not this time.

    I made an allegation?

    Not so much allegation — call it more of an ‘expressed skepticism’ or an ‘opinion’.

    Ok so they have a really slick (but basic) website that claims to help Afghans but has no afghan contact info, no info about their afghan operations and does not even have a single photo of their afghan operations or workers makes a guy wonder. Sure, one could claim ‘OPSEC’ but there are many others doing business or working in Afghanistan who post at least some basic afghan-centric info and photos on their sites without endangering their operations or workers.

    Call me unconvinced…

    I worked for a 501c3 in the mid 2000’s that helped some US organizations and companies in their efforts to get business relationships and whole-cloth businesses established in Afghanistan. The efforts were focused on helping restore some of the previous Ag industries that were strong, viable commercial enterprises and which provided long term sustainable livelihoods for Afghan’s prior to the 1980s – ones for which there is a eternal demand even now. Some of my work over here (yes, I’m over here) requires following what is going on regarding sustainable activities/development. I’m not saying I have a PhD in International Development (I don’t) but I’ve *probably* got a better than average idea of some of the issues and factors involved.

    First, I don’t think that anyone with two-licks of international development experience would call “flip-flop assembly” work (the companies own words – not mine) as “trained, skilled labor” even in a fourth world economy like Afghanistan. Carpentry, masonry, metalworking, electrical, nursing / basic medical and so on are “skilled labor” categories and ones that are needed over here now and will still be needed long after the US/ISAF/coalition is gone. That’s not to say that ‘making shoes’ can’t be a decent job for some folks but working in “flip-flop assembly” falls far short of stuff like this http://ntm-a.com/wordpress2/?p=796 and http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/01/AR2010100102250.html but these guys got a hell of an injection of capital and guaranteed contracts to ISAF to shod the ANSF. You can almost guarantee that once the Coalition funding for ANSF equipment dries up so will the jobs.

    Second, if the company wants to use the “appeal to emotion” to make a sale by stating, “On this side of the world you get shoes. That’s cool. Afghanis are empowered to be creative and benefit their own lives, families and country. That’s change…” then the burden is on the company to show that their claims is more than just catchy marketing. (Flip flop assembly is ‘creative’? Please.)

    Third, from a consumer’s point of view, given what a reasonable rate for labor is in Afghanistan, the materials involved and the end product, I can’t say it any better than Justaleg who said, “60 a pop? Aint gonna happen”.

    You asked how many pairs will you buy when you get pics showing them being made in Afghanistan?

    Zero.

    I got a pair of Croc’s that work just fine and I’d be embarrassed as hell to tell someone I paid $60 bones for a pair of flip-flops.

    If I want to do something ‘feel good’ and buy something that will, “empower Afghans to be creative and benefit their own lives, families and country…” I’ll start with something from this organization, http://www.afghanartisans.com or a similar company. Their most expensive item is about $35 bucks and given the amount of work involved and what you are getting – it’s worth it. Plus that company employs a lot of women who otherwise would not be able or allowed to work outside the home. They are a registered NGO and have been around 26 years: http://www.afghanartisans.com/test/about_us_test.html

    As far as helping build “trained, skilled labor” for sustainable development, if I wanted to kick in some bucks in to make a difference it might be something like what these guys are doing http://www.aava.org.au/projects_detail.aspx?view=2

    I can understand your defensive tone – some of the folks running the combat flipflop company also work with http://www.protecttheforce.com/aboutus_bios.php (I Googled their contact phone numbers – too easy) and it looks like you’ve got some history with these guys as you’ve given them some positive press in the past http://soldiersystems.net/tag/protect-the-force-llc.

    I got it. They are in business sell a product and to make a buck… And that is their prerogative.

    But the bottom line is still:

    “60 a pop? For flip-flops? And a marginal impact on Afghans? Aint gonna happen”.

    As they guy that they have to convince to part with my hard earned cash (you know, the consumer?), that is MY prerogative.

    Obviously our opinions differ.

  5. […] question has come up as to where in Afghanistan that the Combat Flip Flops will be made. Here are pictures taken recently at the factory that will be […]

  6. Bouncerman says:

    “It’s one of the best ways to combat the insurgency.”

    Hmmm I thought that the best way was to keep big bankers out of your country.

  7. […] once you’ve trained your feet in the bare, go get yourselves some of these: http://soldiersystems.net/2011/08/29/combat-flip-flops/, so that your feet can look like this: This entry was posted in FORAGE and tagged barefoot […]

  8. DA says:

    Eric,

    Thanks for posting the photos on the updated entry about these!

    ~D