Part two of my adventures to be more eco-friendly a bit at a time I wanted to get myself a pair of tire slippers. First I checked out Maasai treads a local company that uses discarded tires as the soles and cotton fabric for the top half to make the straps. I tried my local supermarket and no stock, I asked a friend to try in another town and even they were not happy. So I decided to wait until they turned up in my local supermarket as promised.
On paper that seemed like a really good idea, until I got sticker shock and I actually saw the product in person. What was available at their partner retail outlets in my size seemed rather flimsy especially at the toe grip. I need my slippers to be able to do a lot; they need to take a lot of wear and tear. I will even run errands in my slippers, I want comfort and practical over anything else. I do not care for pretty slippers that can break after a couple of months as house slippers.
Guess that is just who I am.
Back to square one, oh well.
Perhaps I needed to approach this a little differently: review my criteria. I ended up finding another local artisan from outside of Nairobi who made tyre slippers thanks to a friend who actually had a pair without the sticker shock I had found earlier. Finally, I had my “firestones”.
If you are expecting pretty designs, assorted styles, designs these are definitely not for you. Raw tire with the thread for the sole, basic straps that still smell of tire when you first try them and be prepared for some of the black color to rub off on your feet especially in the beginning, but it rubs off your feet with a good scrub.
Do I think they will last?
My friends’ pair is going on two years and still going strong, so I think I will take my chances. They are quite comfortable to wear especially in the hot summer months in Nairobi and I have become a bit more immune to the odd looks I get when I’m walking around in them.