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It’s an extra happy World Flip Flop Day as Havianas turns 50

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
14 June 2012

If you’re desperate to get your toes out this summer, we’ve got the perfect excuse for you. Not only is it World Flip Flop Day tomorrow, but it’s also a certain Brazilian flip flop brand’s 50th birthday.

Yes, Havaianas, South America’s most famous sandal-maker, has turned 50. We dug into some facts to find out why we love the simple rubber flip flops. And it probably has much to do with the relaxed Hawiian surfer-style the brand has adopted and these ‘wish you were here’ ad campaigns that have us imagining the sand beneath our feet.

[Related article: Find the perfect beachwear for your shape]

Beginning life in 1962, Havaianas were already selling over one thousand pairs of sandals every day by 1963. As cheap essentials for poor Brazilians, in the 80s, the Government controlled the price of the popular rubber soles. But they’re now well and truly a fashion accessory, teaming up with fashion house Missoni this month and beloved by celebs including Oprah and Ashlee Simpson. And the price has gone up accordingly. In some corners of the rainforest you might be able to pick up a basic pair for a few dollars but in the UK we’re happy to pay upwards of £22 to adorn our feet with the summer essentials. They even made it into our summer footwear guide with an exceptionally snazzy pair.

Probably calling them ‘thongs’, the average Aussie owns five pairs of Havaianas, while Brazilians are super supportive of the home-grown business with an average of 25. If you lined up the four billion pairs that have been sold in the past 50 years, we’re reliably informed they would go round the earth about forty times.

The main reason, as backpackers the world over will tell you, is that they’re trusty, hardy and they last - there’s nothing worse than walking up Machu Picchu in a broken flip flop.

To celebrate World Flip Flop Day, Havaianas have a limited edition blue and white pair out. There are only 50,000 in the world and all the proceeds go to UNICEF. Race you to the shops.

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