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Slappa’s Thongs & Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a cause very close to our hearts and this month we are proud to be joining the #CFArmy to help spread awareness of CF by donating $5 from every pair of Slappa’s purchased online plus to help cure CF.

What Is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common inherited disease affecting the developed world, with one in every 2,500 children affected. It is a multi-organ disease, affecting the lungs, gut, liver, pancreas and reproductive tissues. At present, about half of those with CF will die before they are 50 from lung disease. Lung disease is the cause of death in over 90% of CF patients.

Although there has been recent advancement in treatments, these treatments do not work for everyone with CF.
CURRENTLY THERE IS NO CURE.

To learn more about CF and what its like living with CF – head here: https://www.cure4cf.org/living-with-cystic-fibrosis/

Who are Cure4CF?

Cure4 Cystic Fibrosis (Cure4CF) have one purpose – to find a cure for CF.

Cure4CF raises funds for world-leading CF research through inspiring engagement and genuine partnerships, because cystic fibrosis is a solvable problem and together, we can be a part of the cure. As individuals they are relentless and passionate in their fight, and together they form a remarkable force.

We are closer to a cure than ever before, but until the day comes when no lives are lost to this disease, Cure4CF vow to remain steadfast in their pursuit. They share stories of hope, and demonstrate their immediate impact on the advancement of this cure to inspire others to join the fight.
This year they have committed to investing a minimum of $750,000 to support cure focused translations research. That’s they type of research that has the best chance of making it into the hands of those who need it most. Our CF Warriors.

How Can You Help?

Together, and only together, are we able to take the action necessary to pursue a future free of this disease.

Head to the Cure4CF website for some ways you can help join the fight against Cystic Fibrosis: https://www.cure4cf.org/cf-awareness-month/

You can also help us to help them by purchasing a pair of Slappa’s this May.

Thongs on!
The Slappas Team


Reflexology is an old technique that aims to increase blood flow to certain parts of the body to relieve pressure and pain. These points, often found on your feet and hands, are connected directly to the body’s glands and organs. Every person’s experience with reflexology is a little bit different.

With reflexology, you may experience cold or hot sensations, the need to breathe deeply, sweating of the hands and feet, tiredness, relaxed muscles, and feeling freed of stress and tension.

You can go to a reflexology therapist to have work done, but you can also do it at home with a partner or yourself.

What better treat this Valentine’s Day than a reflexology foot massage from the one you love? But don’t waste the effect – make sure you wear your Slappa’s to maintain that comfy relaxed feeling. Your feet will love you for it!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Travelling with Slappa’s

We often receive emails with wonderful feedback from our customers who have been travelling all over the world saying how they were so glad they purchased Slappa’s Thongs before leaving on their trip.

Recently our founder and owner Denise Dunn trekked the Inca Trail and explored the wonders of Machu Picchu in Peru, so we sat down with her to find out how Slappa’s had helped her on this trip of a lifetime and what advice she has for those about to travel…

Q. How long before you left did you start breaking in your Slappa’s ready for the trip?

Denise: My best advice for those buying new Slappa’s Thongs before a trip or holiday is to allow 2 weeks to properly mould into them; especially if you are flying to a hot climate as your feet may possibly swell. Giving your Slappa’s a bit of extra time to mould and stretch will allow them to not feel too tight or give you a blister.

If you plan on doing a lot of walking we all know new footwear can rub so better to break them in for a few weeks especially since your feet are softer having just come out of winter.

On my Peru trip I actually took my old Red Slappa’s which are my favourites and also a new pair of black which I had only worn for a couple of days before I left. My new black are from our new production you will find they will mould to your foot shape almost instantly. We did a lot of testing with the EVA material and have now been able to produce Slappa’s so they will mould quicker.

Q. How many pairs did you take with you?

Denise: I actually had 3 pairs!!! My favourite Red which I find goes with most colours, the new black for our newest production and a new pink colour which we will be launching next month. It was easy to pack three pairs as they are super light and fit easily in any bag. I tend to take a few colours when I go away as it is a great opportunity for me to take some photos in some wonderful holiday spots in my Slappa’s. Yes occasionally I come home with less than I took as there is always someone wanting a pair haha!

I could only take one pair on the actual Inca Trail as we had limited luggage; as you can see later in the photos I chose to take the new pink. We haven’t named this shade/colour yet – perhaps you have a suggestion? Email us at info@slappasthongs.com.au if you do!

Q. How did Slappa’s help you while you were travelling?

Denise: Travelling in Peru and on the Inca Trail we needed to wear our hiking boots all day and as much as my Scarpa Hiking Boots that I bought from MacPac  were super comfy it was always great to let the feet breathe and relax in my Slappa’s. My friends would say the same and in actual fact one of my friends said stuff it I just need to put my Slappa’s on as she just loves the comfort and support she gets all the way to the back.

The new friends we made on the trip were wishing I had a few more pairs for them to wear. They said they would definitely get on the website and order so we should see some orders from London, Belguim and Sydney coming through!

Q. How often did you clean your Slappa’s while away?

Denise: It’s easy to keep your Slappa’s clean while you are away – just wear them in the shower! The other great reason to do this is to protect your feet from contracting any fungal skin infections, especially if using in communal showers.

Keeping Slappa’s clean also reduces the chances of sweating, if you find your feet are sweating in your Slappa’s it’s usually due to a built up of dirt either on your thongs or on your feet (so might be time for a pedicure!)

Q. Tell us about running Slappa’s as a family business and the importance of taking vacations like this one?

Denise: Anyone that owns a small or family business knows how difficult it is to maintain a work/life balance. Especially when you first start out as you really need be hands on in the business so you understand everything that happens; you can see where changes need to be made, learn from your successes and mistakes, and it definitely helps keep expenses down so the business can survive those first crucial years.

As we pack all our online and wholesaler orders ourselves it is really hard for us to be able to coordinate a family holiday together. In the early days if we needed to go away for a few days we would fly up my sister or a friend to keep the orders happening and I would still monitor emails, social media and answer phone calls.

As the business grew we were then able to support employing a part time person to pack the orders which then allowed us to have a quick break away but I still had to do the office work.

Quite often one of us would go away with the kids and the other one stayed home to manage the business. But this was not ideal.

Eight years on and the business turned into a company and we experienced huge growth extremely quickly so we had no choice; we had to employ. This was the best thing we ever did. Though looking back I still think we made the right decision to watch and wait until the time was right and felt comfortable to us.

Now we have amazing staff who are very capable at keeping the business running and in April this year we had our first holiday as a family in 5 years where we didn’t have to work whilst on holidays.

Last year I was asked by my lovely friend if I would like to join her on a once in a lifetime adventure walking the Inca Trail in Peru. This trip broke all my rules of going away in a busy part of the year but to be able to do it I had 12 months to put everything in place and with the help of our great staff and the support of my family I was able to achieve this amazing experience.

As much as I would have loved to have my family with me it was a very healthy decision to go independently, as when your work is based at your home and with your family – in a nice way – we need to have time away from each other, learn to not become dependant on each other and take on responsibilities that you are not used to doing.

The trip has also taught me that the business can still run without me and I quickly learnt it was best not to reply to emails as it sometimes created more work for the staff back at the business. I trusted my staff so just let them look after things.

All in all I had an amazing trip and returned refreshed and renewed just in time for the arrival of our first shipment of new Slappa’s!! Order our new Mindil Beach Blue, Navy and Black Army online today.

Thongs On!

The Slappa’s Team

Flip Flops On The Runway

We at Slappa’s Thongs have always felt flip flops were catwalk worthy but this year they were officially debuted on the runway at New York Fashion Week!

Marie Clare stylist Monica Russell predicted in July this year;
According to our fave street style stars the casual footwear once reserved for the dash from the car to the beach has now made it’s way to the fashion circuit!

Then just this month InStyle’s Senior Digital Fashion Editor, Isabelle Truman, confirmed it in online article. She wrote; “Despite thongs (flip flops, sandals, slip-ons) being a wardrobe staple Down Under, the humble rubber shoe is often reserved for beach days or quick dashes to the supermarket. But when fashion girls Olivia Palermo and the Olsen Twins were spotted wearing flip flops with every day outfits it was clear a trend was born. Of course it was only a matter of time before thongs would hit the runway with Dion Lee taking it upon himself to ensure an Aussie Designer was first.

We for one are so excited that our fashion-forward footwear are gracing the feet of celebs.

Recreate The Look

With flip flops having made the successful transition from streets to runway we thought we’d take a closer look at the catwalk models and celebrities who are blazing the path and show you how to recreate their style with clothes and accessories from local and online retailers. Enjoy!

The Look: This gorgeous colour-pop look featuring the former fashion faux pas was shown off at Dion Lee’s New York Fashion Week show, where the designer’s spring/summer 2019 collection was revealed to homegrown attendees such as Bambi Northwood-Blyth and Jess Gomes.

To Recreate: Pair a bright blue jacket like this one from ebay.com.au (great options also available from luulla.com and dhgate.com) with a black leather backpack – we love this one from Kate Spade – and a pair of Black Slappa’s Thongs.

The Look: This is another striking look from Dion Lee who said of the collection; “The Australian lifestyle has always been a strong source of inspiration for me. We integrated such a quintessential Australian footwear style in with the overall collection. They are such an iconic Australian look, we loved being able to include them in our NYFW show.”

To Recreate: You’ll need a classic white summery dress such as this gorgeous Chantilly Dress from ShowPo then add a few elegant jewellery pieces like a bracelet or necklace from The Pearl Galleria. Finish with a pair of White Slappa’s Thongs.

The Look: Straight from the streets of  New York this funky modern animal print look features bold yellow accessories with a subtle splash of colour in the form of a clutch.

To Recreate: Any eye catching animal print will work; we love this stylish Leopard Print Wrap Front Maxi from The Iconic for example, add a pair of yellow sunglasses, a “moc croc” embossed clutch from Pearl Galleria and pop on a pair of Yellow Slappa’s to complete the look.

The Look: We love the way fashionista Hillary Duff pulls off this effortless look while out and about in between filming her latest show. Navy is a popular colour this season; try mixing it up with statement pieces in bold colours like red or yellow.

To Recreate: Find a 3/4 sleeve navy dress you love (this one pictured from The Iconic) then add a black oversize crocodile bag like this one from David Jones. Finish with a pair of Navy Slappa’s.

No matter where you’re headed this Spring/Summer season slip on a pair of Slappa’s and make every street your own personal runway!

And don’t forget all orders over $100 get FREE express post shipping Australia wide.

Thongs on!

The holiday season has passed for the moment, what a relief! Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with the family and enjoying the Christmas and New Year celebrations. But, it’s a bit overwhelming at times and I’m eager to get back into the business.

Of course, that said, there is another Public Holiday on the horizon and it’s a biggie….

Australia Day

Being an Aussie girl, born and raised I love enjoying a good Australia Day Barbecue and time at the beach. And, I also love that while it’s a big day it isn’t a break-the-bank holiday, it’s a simple holiday about coming together as a community.

Sure, it’s about National Pride but more than that Australia Day is about embracing our differences. And, nowhere in Australia is that more evident than in Darwin!

Call it bias, but in my opinion, Darwin is Australia’s best melting pot. Sure, we don’t have a China Town like most other Australian Capital Cities do but we do have a huge array of markets. In Darwin you can find a number of restaurants, you can eat food from a different culture every night if you want – it’s amazing!

That intercultural experience of people coming together, no matter their difference in background – that’s what Australia Day is all about to me.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi

As an Australian Business Owner, it’s important to me to support my fellow Australians when I can. However, as an Australian, I also believe it’s important to embrace what the world has to offer, which is why Slappa’s are manufactured in China (check out the Glimpse Behind the Scenes Blog).

Working the local Mindil Beach Markets every Dry Season, I know that no matter a person’s cultural background they can be exemplary. There are stallholders from a variety of backgrounds at the markets and they all do an amazing job. Of course, as far as I see it they’re all just like me- Australian Business Owners.

Celebrating Australia Day

Now for this Australia Day, I fully intend on enjoying time at the beach (unless it rains). But, mostly I look forward to getting together with everyone and celebrating what makes our country great.

No matter where you are from, I hope you have a terrific Australia Day. And, for those Aussies travelling abroad, I hope you enjoy your Australia Day too.

Thongs On!

Denise

Post Exercise Recovery Tips

What you do before and after any form of exercise seriously impacts the speed and quality of your recovery. While training may seem like the most important aspect, aches or pains caused by incorrect recovery can be just as crippling as any injury caused during exercise. Here are some easy tips to ensure you recover correctly.

Foam rolling

Self-stretching or myofascial release, also known as “foam rolling”, is a form of self-massage used to release muscle tightness or target trigger points which can be performed using a foam roller. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function.

Compression

Compression garments are designed to increase blood flow to areas of your body and can improve performance as well as shortening recovery time. Studies have shown that wearing compression garments post exercise reduces pooling in extremities and can increase the oxygen uptake in muscles and reduce blood lactate levels.

Correct Footwear

Following any form of exercise that places pressure on your feet, supportive footwear is crucial. The muscles, plantar fascia and ligaments that make up the arch of your foot work hard during running or any weight bearing exercise. During the hours after exercise these tissues may be fatigued and will benefit from extra support and cushioning. To avoid overloading of these structures, correct support can assist your feet to relax and recover. If you can’t wait to kick your runners off, consider an orthotic designed sandal or Thongs for comfort combined with therapeutic support.

For more information, contact your health care professional.

These great recovery tips have been provided by our guest blogger Jessica and the team at Lara Physiotherapy Health Network.

For any free advice you can follow them on facebook https://www.facebook.com/laraphysiotherapyhealthnetwork/?rf=197853906916070

or check out their website http://laraphysiotherapy.com/

Slappa’s Thongs are available from Lara Physiotherapy Health Network or you can buy online https://www.slappasthongs.com.au/buy-slappas

 

What’s the best treatment for heel pain?

There are several treatment options for heel pain. Research shows that the best approach is to combine several therapies for best result. These include stretching, massage, ice therapy, strengthening exercises and custom orthotics.

Do orthotics work for foot pain?

Yes. Orthotics work by placing your foot in its most optimal functional position. This allows all the structures to function, as they should; avoiding muscle imbalance and reducing pain.

What conditions cause ball of foot pain?

There are many conditions that cause ball of foot pain including metatarsalgia, Morton’s neuroma, capsulitis, arthritis, clawed toes, bunions and plantar plate tears. Contact your local podiatrist for more information.

How can lower back pain cause foot problems?

There are several ways that lower back pain can impact the foot. Nerve root issues in the lower back such as bulging discs or compressed nerves can radiate along the sciatic nerve and into the foot. Differences in hip levels can contribute to foot pain through jarring in the joints or increased pressures when the foot lands.

What is the difference between a heel spur and plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is damage to the thin band of tissue that connects the heel of the foot to the ball of the foot. It can develop as a result of repeat stress, injury or overuse of the foot.

A heel spur is a calcium deposit or growth on the heel bone that develops where the muscles in the foot connect to bone. These can often be asymptomatic but may become irritated due to extended periods of strain on the foot.

Why are my toes numb?

Numb toes can be related to metabolic, nerve and biomechanical issues. Peripheral neuropathy often caused by diabetes causes numbness beginning at the toes and moving up. Compressed nerves can cause numbness further down the limb into specific areas of the foot. Poor foot mechanics can lead to the collapse of the forefoot arch, putting pressure on nerves in the foot.

Why is big toe movement so important in total body function and prevention of pain?

The big toe joint allows for proper activation of the arch, as well as propulsion and shock absorption. If this joint is not working effectively it can lead to painful complications such as osteoarthritis and bunions.

Why Slappa’s Thongs work from a podiatry perspective for summer

Slappa’s thongs provide a great alternative to orthotics during the summer months. They provide arch support and will protect your feet during hot summer days.

Are all podiatrists the same? How do I find the right one for me?

No, podiatrists can specialize in different areas such as biomechanics, diabetes, rheumatology and pediatrics. Ring you local podiatry association to see who will be suitable for you.

One simple exercise to strengthen the arch

Toe raises strengthen the main muscle that hold up the arch- Tibilas Posterior. By completing three sets a day your foot strength will increase and reduce the need for orthoses.

Hope this information is helpful and remember it is in your best interest to investigate pain and dysfunction and come see experts like us at Sole Therapy.

If you are not in Sydney you can talk to your local podiatry state association and they will happily guide you to a local podiatrist that may help your pain.

“For excellent free foot tips and advice like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SoleTherapyPtyLtd/and follow us on Instagram  @soletherapysydney or check out our website www.soletherapy.com.au. Slappa’s Thongs are available from Sole Therapy or you can buy online www.slappasthongs.com.au/buy-slappas

Thank you to Nicole Reilly, Victoria Kokotastsios and all the team at Sole Therapy for being our Guest Blogger this month and answering our customers questions.

Spring is here, and you all know what that means… it’s time to break out of your winter footwear. Yep, time to get your tootsies ready for summer!

All across Australia, the temperature is starting to rise and here is sunny Darwin that means the build-up has kicked off. Of course, summer isn’t quite here yet, which is a good thing because that gives you plenty of time to condition your feet ready to begin beach hopping, backyard barbequing and every other fun in the sun activity you can think of.

Your changing feet

But let’s get serious for a moment. Feet change a bit during the winter and they change again once summer arrives.

Coming out of the winter your feet are a lot more vulnerable. If you’re starting a new exercise routine or getting active be sure to go easy at first and then gradually increase… and don’t forget to stretch out and wear the appropriate footwear.

If you have a foot related condition already, such as plantar fasciitis, then be extra cautious to take good care of your feet.

Foot care is more than just being careful and wearing the right shoes, though that does go a long way.

To make sure your feet look extra good and feel great, this summer then check out this article which has some quick tips for summer foot care.

Remember, if you have any issues with your feet then it never hurts to go visit a podiatrist. In fact, several of our stockists are podiatrists…which just goes to show how good Slappa’s really are for your feet!

Top tip for starting summer

After those cold months all wrapped up in socks and heavy footwear feet tend to soften up, and because they’re softer at the beginning of summer that means your Slappa’s might not fit quite right.

Take a little time to remould into your Slappas. If you aren’t sure how to remould your Slappas don’t worry, just check out this video.

Remember your feet deserve the best support they can get, and moulding your Slappas gives them just that. Check out our new colour range,  and list of stockist to find one closest to you.

Thongs On,

Denise

 

This is the time of year the Northern Territory starts to bloom. The Wet Season has ended and the Dry is in full swing. Darwin is lush and full of life, kicking off with heaps of happening, fun stuff in July. Making it the perfect time, especially for those of you who don’t live in Darwin, to come on up and see the sights.

I’m giving you the heads up in June so you’ve still got time to slap on your Slappa’s and hoof our way 😊. Because if there’s one thing I know (other than fantastic thong-wear), it’s Darwin! So, for a Slappa’s Good Time, check this out …

We’re known in the Top End for being a pretty cruisy crowd. There’s nowhere I’m going to tell you about, that you can’t jump in and enjoy wearing your favourite thongs. Seriously, we invented the phrase laid back up here! So, when I say you can have a Slappa’s Good Time, I mean it, literally.

Magical Mindil Beach Sunset Market

This market is iconic and will be in full swing by July. It’s a favourite spot with Territorians and visitors alike. There really is something for everyone: fantastic food, tropical refreshments, world class stalls selling everything from art to thongs.

Guess who’ll be there with her Slappa’s Thongs? Be sure to pop by and say hi. I’d love to meet you! Plus, I’ll have some thrilling new thong colours arriving, as well as many of our classics.

What makes Mindil so magical is the location right on the beach. You can watch the sensational sunset, before browsing and basking in the cooler evening atmosphere on a Thursday and Sunday evening.

Top Tip

Get there early to bag a perfect sundowner spot for you and your esky; kick back and enjoy happy hour on the beach. It’s BYO only; no alcohol is sold at Mindil.

If you can’t make it down early, you can pre-book a VIP area. The Mindil team will set up a private area with tables, chairs and an esky with ice, that overlooks the beach and markets. VIP areas are $15 per head (or a little more per head if you want to arrange some added extras).

Slappa’s Go Bush

One thing my family loves, is the treasure trove of breathtaking natural beauty and our rich indigenous culture.

The Dry is the time to head out to some of these world-famous beauty spots, which are often impassable during the worst of our Wet Season. Stunning waterways, crystal-clear rock pools and spectacular waterfalls are all begging to be explored in places such as Kakadu, Litchfield and Katherine Gorge. There are many other equally gorgeous destinations you can visit from Darwin.

Slappa’s Sensational July recommendations

Territory Day on July 1st marks the Northern Territory’s anniversary of self-government.

The occasion is marked all across the Territory with fireworks displays, concerts and celebratory events.

If you happen to visit Mindil Beach Markets on Territory Day, you’ll enjoy a fantastic fireworks display, lighting up the Timor Sea. Truly magical!

The Beer Can Regatta has been hosted by The Lions Club since 1974. You don’t want to miss this hilarious, unique, utterly Territorian experience!

Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like watching as these beer-can-crafts (soda cans for the minors) are tested on the water. It’s a day for everyone and always draws a big crowd to Mindil Beach. Check out the video clips on their site – they put the F in Fun!

There’s more than just testing these preciously crafted vessels involved; you can always get involved in portage races, kayak races, sandcastle comps, iron man events and take part in some of the silly competitions – like thong-throwing! A special activity sponsored by Slappa’s Thongs. 😉

Come join us Sunday 9th July 2017

10am to 5pm Mindil Beach, Darwin.

Most Mindil Beach Sunset Market stalls will be set for the whole day.

Get your formal thongs on for Darwin Cup Carnival

Whilst we love our (sometimes) capsizing beer-can-vessels, beach and bush activities, we’ve got our classy side.

This is Darwin – of course, we have formal thong-wear!

If you want to get really dressed up and feel quite posh then why not spend a day at the horse races? There’s heaps happening and a great opportunity for posh-frocking. Ladies Day is an awesome day to dress up in your killer heels and dress-to-die-for. And when those heels start killing your still fun-fueled feet, swap them out for a pair of colour coordinated Slappa’s Thongs.

What’s more fun than spending the day with your besties, enjoying a flutter, admiring the fashions, dancing and drinking bubbles (a little too much for some)?

Part of the carnival celebrations is The Darwin Cup Ball, the biggest outdoor ball in the southern hemisphere, an opportune event for rubbing shoulders with celebs. And the very last event of the carnival is, of course, The Darwin Cup which is always held on the 1st Monday of August, so if you’re in Darwin then make sure you don’t miss it!

Slappa’s Lounging About

Now Darwin can involve a lot of stimulating activity, but if you prefer to just kick back and relax…

Then have I got the perfect Darwin activity for you!

The Deckchair Cinema is open 7-days a week, with the box office open from 6pm. It’s the perfect opportunity to just chillax, sit beneath the stars and soak up some cinematic sensation.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg, of ways to enjoy tropical Darwin and our stunning surrounds in the Dry.

Did I mention the other good thing is you can be comfortable and wear thongs (preferably Slappa’s) at all these events? (Yeah, I know I did 😉).

And there’s more. A lot more! Don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself at the Tourism Top End Site.

Thongs On!

Denise

I am a huge supporter of Australian made, both clothing, footwear and produce for the table.

From when I first started buying my own clothes and footwear I’d more often than not, choose to buy items made in Australia.

I’m not sure if it had something to do with being brought up on a farm. Or I just felt it was important to support Australian businesses.

But one thing I know, it was worth paying a bit more for the quality.  I continued to do this for many years until it almost became impossible.

Now that I am manufacturing my own product I can see why the majority of clothing and footwear are made overseas.

Do you ever think about how things are made when you buy clothing or footwear?

Why are Slappa’s manufactured overseas?

Manufacturing in China takes me away from my family a lot. The flights are long, I rarely see another westerner, living in a hotel is not glamorous and not being able to speak the language makes it even more of a challenge. (This isn’t by choice. I started to learn Mandarin but was told it was a waste of time as most people in this part of China don’t speak the Mandarin dialect!)

It can be lonely and damn right frustrating but I am learning every day and I’m not the only one out there doing this. There are many more entrepreneurs just like me.

It’s not by choice that I, and many others, manufacture in China or other parts of the world. The simple fact is there is no manufacturer in Australia. People just don’t seem to want to do these jobs anymore.

So what do you think when you see “Made in China”?

Well, I use to think cheap, mass produced, sweatshops and poor quality. This is still true in some cases, but not all of the time.

These days most Chinese factory workers are well paid and looked after. Their wages are almost equivalent to Australian factory wages.

The Hard Miles

You might think making a pair of thongs is simple. Wrong.

While it might be true for some thongs, it’s definitely not for Slappa’s. It’s really hard work. We need to make sure the size, firmness and support are correct. Comfy and supportive is not simple to achieve (we take footcare seriously).

Getting the right people behind you, creating good relationships, finding the right factory that can make your product to your standards and doing your own quality control are just some of the ways we guarantee a quality product.

For me, achieving all of this can be a nightmare. A small change to the materials, temperature and a different worker can make a huge difference to the end product.

This is why my manager and I are hands on at the production runs in China. Keeping an eagle eye on the production lines means we can pinpoint any changes and rectify problems straight away.

We have changed factories a number of times, for many reasons. Finding a new one is extremely difficult as most manufacturers won’t even consider making our product as we produce smaller quantities than the likes of the European, Russian or Middle Eastern countries. I try to explain we are a smaller country too!

So why do I do this?

I ask myself this question every day. Some days I think I have rocks in my head, other days my customers make it so rewarding and worthwhile. Plus it’s pretty exciting to see so many people all over Australia and the world wearing my thongs.

It’s great to be able to say I now feel so confident in our current factory that I’m currently producing the biggest order ever. That’s right, it’s the largest production run in our 7-year history.

I’m very nervous, but also very excited.  It’ll be a relief to not keep running out of stock in some sizes and colours after the summer season. Mind you, when our customers keep telling everyone “they are the best thongs I have ever owned”, there is a big chance we’ll still run out.

At Slappa’s, we pride ourselves on the quality of our product and the customer service we offer. We like to think we are a niche product.

Sure there are some things you can’t keep doing yourself and need to outsource but in our case, we want to try and continue to give that personal touch for as long as we can.

So next time you’re buying a product think about the people behind the product and the processes it has gone through to be made.

Thongs On!

Denise.