“ Brand: Braintree / Type: Slippers „
According to the well known documentary- "How Clean Is Your House?" at least 80% of household dirt comes into the house on shoes. Now in my house it's paws rather than shoes, as my dog potters in and out all day, but I try to leave my shoes by the door.
I am not overly keen on slippers, and until recently used to wear flip flops, but these are not warm in the winter, and so I wanted something else as an alternative. I found them in the form of a pair of "Papaches"- these are traditional multi coloured Croatian slippers made from left over yarns. Previously unheard of to me I discovered these beauties following a conversation I had with my daughter. She is researching various aspects of ethical production methods for part of her final year degree, and we spoke about cotton production, particularly in relation to how it is the most sprayed crop in the world. I was really horrified to learn about this, as I must admit to never really thinking about it at length before. Hemp, she explained is a much more sustainable material. It needs no chemicals to produce, and is becoming more popular, especially as the market for reusable bags has expanded so much in the last few years.
I found these papaches on a website called Braintree Hemp- this a company who specialise in hemp clothing and accessories. The company which was founded in Australia, has recently expanded and now has a UK operation. At the forefront of their mind is the ecological advantage of hemp, and by working closely with manufacturers the company endeavours to produce fashionable clothing in a sustainable way.
Their website is well worth checking out as it is well designed, and has many items which are of interest, if you are looking to purchase more ethically produced clothing and footwear. The website address is-
These unisex papaches slippers are just so different and are really comfortable. They are like a cross between a slipper sock and conventional slippers. When worn the sides are rigid, so they resemble a proper slipper, but when off these can be folded like socks. This is a handy feature if you want to take them when travelling in your luggage, and also helpful here is the fact that they are lightweight.
You can wear them on their own, or even over socks, and the range comes in a choice of three colours, purple, green and blue. I chose blue, but all the colours appealed to me. Retailing for £9.99, these can be purchased on-line from their website, and just now the blue variant can be purchased on sale at my favourite ethical supermarket at www.ethicalsuperstore.com for £4.99. I believe they only have medium left in stock, which is UK size 7-9. This store also offers 10% cash-back if you link through from a cash-back site such as Topcashback.
Just a word on sizing I would say these come up slightly small. I estimate this is about half to one size smaller than usual, so sizing up rather than down makes sense if you are between sizes. They come in three sizes
* S: 3 - 5
* M: 7 - 9
* L: 10 - 12
The wonderful thing about these slippers is that you can wash them. I am always popping mine in the wash and they don't shrink and come out perfectly. I don't tumble them, but leave them to dry naturally for a few hours. Another attribute I have found is that they don't promote your feet to sweat. I bought a pair for my husband, who is the worst culprit for popping in and out of the house with his shoes on. He has worn them a lot, and even before I wash them they are free from foot odour.
The website does say that the slippers allow the feet to breathe and I can verify this claim, they are lovely and fresh to wear every day.
I have also found these to be hard wearing, and they last in very good condition for months, even with frequent washing. I also really find them warm and cosy and enjoy wearing them in the evening on winter nights. I really like the speckled look these slippers have- you can really imagine they have been made from left over remnants.
I think their only disadvantage is that they have no waterproof sole so if you do walk on a spillage it will give you wet feet.
I think the success of these slippers has made me more interested in the ethical aspects of hemp clothing. I recently discovered that the production of a cotton t shirt can use in excess of 80 chemicals, and that this chemical use is responsible for many deaths in the developing countries where production is taking place. Hemp clothing does not need this battery of chemical input, and it grows well with minimal water. It is one of the oldest plants in the world and one which is growing in popularity. These unusual slippers are loved in our house and provide a cosy alternative to conventional slippers. They offer durability and comfort and something a little bit different.