Walking the halls of the Javitts Center during New York Design Week, we were more than thrilled to see one of our Spring Greening 2010 Finalists on show at at this year’s ICFF! Chop-Flops, the brainchild of designer and student Joseph Palmer, is a design that has been made from discarded chopsticks reclaimed from a restaurant dumpster. Both eco-friendly and comfortable, we were wishing for a pair for ourselves!
Palmer first scoured the dumpster of a local Japanese restaurant to recover and repurpose the chopsticks, which make up the insole of the sandals. The cork soles were cut from a cast off push-pin bulletin board that was collecting dust in Palmer’s bedroom. After carefully cutting the chopsticks into pieces that would make up the insole, he stitched them together using dental floss, using a similar technique used with bamboo mats and blinds. The thongs were made from scrap leather backpack straps and adjusters, also stitched with dental floss.
Palmer, an industrial design student, got the idea for the flops when contemplating an assignment for an eco-friendly design in his product studio. While eating sushi outside on a warm day, he noticed his fellow student’s affinity for wearing flip flops to class, and then the idea struck. Completely fulfilling the assignment, Chop-Flop’s materials are 100% upcycled, entirely from common household objects. He offered a pair last year on Ebay, and we congratulate his presence at ICFF!