Gallery: SUSTAINABLE STYLE: Brazilian-Chic Sin Sandals by Melissa


We love our sustainable sandals here at Inhabitat, so we were psyched to come upon more styles of cute Melissa shoes to help us glide into the sizzling summer months. Melissa’s Brazilian-made Sin Sandal is undeniably hot on the style circuit while also being coolly constructed out of totally recyclable, hypoallergenic thermoplastic. A slip on does not get any more comfortable than this, as the Sin Sandal custom molds to one’s feet for a comfy leather and rubber free alternative to flip-flop shuffling. We loved Melissa’s sexy red kitten heels from earlier in the season, and now the company has created another way for us be environmentally responsible while also living in total Sin!

Melissa shoes and sandals are made from MELFLEX plastic, a patented recyclable and extremely flexible, soft PVC. We love these sandals as an alternative to the season’s must-have gladiator sandal as well as their being cruelty free and devoid of animal products. The faux-metallic finish with T-strap thong design also makes them eco-luxe but at an extremely affordable price point. Even better? The Brazilian-based company recycles 99% of its factory water and waste and as well as its season-to-season overstock. Employees are also paid above average wages and benefits in exemplary forward thinking management style. Melissa’s definitely has the eco-friendly Midas touch for footwear that is alchemically timeless!

$45 from Kaight >

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  1. Candy Villarta October 20, 2014 at 9:55 pm


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  3. jaane80 June 18, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Thanks for not deleting my comment. I think you’ve done a great job at highlighting the positive aspects of this company, my concern was the lack of any critical perspective in this post. Yes, I realize that leather also has it’s own issues. Plastics do provide an alternative but PVC is one of, if not the most dangerous plastic with respect to human health. Many companies are voluntarily phasing out use of PVC in addition to several governments regulating and restricting its use. Mooshoes is a vegan footwear vendor that does not sell shoes made with PVC, polyurethane is a common alternative that is less hazardous. Perhaps Inhabitat could put together a post highlighting pros and cons of each material used in shoes (leather, ecoleather, fabric, PVC, rubber, other plastics) so readers can be better informed on all these choices?
    Making shoes of a recyclable material is a step in the right direction. If I put these shoes in the recycle bin, where will they end up? Plastic types need to be separated for recycling, so if the type of plastic is not clearly identified on the product, it will go to a landfill despite my best intentions. It’s great that Melissa recycles their own waste, but it’s continued consumer pressure that will motivate them to take even MORE steps towards sustainability, cutting them slack will not. So please add some critical comments to your post to keep these companies on their toes instead of essentially providing free advertising. Let’s keep the discussion going!

  4. Abigail Doan June 16, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    I just wanted to add that the idea of Melissa shoes being “disposable” is inaccurate. Apparently they wear like iron and last forever. I have never tossed a pair of shoes into the landfill – ever.

    Sustainable style is very much about what works, both environmentally and economically, in a given region. These shoes are lasting favorites in the favelas of Brazil as well as the on streets of cosmopolitan capitals. The fact that Melissa shoes as a company has initiated the recycling of their shoes as well as their season-to-season overstock should not be overlooked when 2. 3 million pairs are bought every year.

    This is not just about alternatives for vegans but also for hard-working folks who need affordable, recyclable footwear. Not everyone can afford the more exclusive eco-footwear collections. That said, we do cover a range of green footwear and cradle-to-cradle production practices, and this is just one option that we think that our readers should know about, specifically because of the materials and issues involved.

    Thanks for reading-


    Art & Style Editor

  5. Jill Fehrenbacher June 16, 2008 at 10:51 pm


    Of course, PVC has its share of environmental issues and controversies, but so does leather. The meat industry and factory-farming industry (of which leather is a part) has a HUGELY negative impact on greenhouse gas emissions and the state of our environment in general. I’ve seen statistics that put the meat/dairy industry as one of the world’s leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions which are causing climate change. And there aren’t a lot of choices for sandals that don’t involve either plastics or leather. So if you want to wear sandals (which many of us do in the hot hot summer), its basically a choice between two evils. If we highlight ‘eco leather’ shoes like Terraplana, the vegans get mad, and then when we highlight vegan plastic shoes, everyone else gets mad. The fact is, Melissa is one of the few shoe companies out there making stylish, cute, vegan, fair-trade, responsiblly-manufactured shoes that are also affordable. Cut them some slack please. Point me to a better vegan shoe company and we’ll gladly write about them.

    Thanks for reading-


  6. jaane80 June 16, 2008 at 10:56 am

    I can not believe a sandal (or any other product) made from PVC can be touted as environmentally responsible. PVC manufacture uses toxic additives such as phthalates and by-products like dioxin, Greenpeace advocates global phase-out of this material due to the many health concerns.
    And while PVC may be recyclable, it often is NOT because it is not economical to do so. Also where is the SPI recycle code indicating the plastic type? These disposable shoes are destined for the landfill or worse, incineration.
    Please be more responsible in your “Sustainable Style” coverage, there are MANY better approaches green footwear, promote them instead, because I’d hate to think someone buying these shoes would mistakenly believe they’re doing something good for the environment.

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