Frode Grønvold is a passionate outdoorsman, dropout and know it all turned serial entrepreneur. Frode holds 20 years of experience from the sportswear and fashion industry.
Nina Granerød is a Creative Director and designer with many years experience from the fashion industry. Nina holds a BA with Hons in design and fashion marketing from Central Saint.
Tor Marius Engen
Tor Marius Engen is a former professional athlete and active surfer. Tor Marius has 20 years experience in the shoe industry. His agencies have represented some of the most valuable shoe brands the last decades.
As surfers we see our most treasured places flooded with plastic. That’s why we created Sleepers - to offer a better option to the worlds most sold footwear.
The dream(ing) Team
Back in 2001, during an extended surf trip to the then civil war-torn east coast of Sri Lanka: Surf buddies (turned footwear and fashion entrepreneur’s) Tor Marius and Frode came across flip flops in natural rubber and, filled their board bags with gifts for friends and family during a factory visit.
16 years later, during an après surf, al fresco dinner at Tor Marius ́ surf shack in the Canary Islands, Frode’s wife and business partner Nina asks why no one is doing flip flops she wants. She is a Central St Martins educated womenswear designer and just wants a consciously made pair with a contemporary design aesthetic that she can wear with a dress in the city or on the beach. Having recently sold a Womenswear label they founded years earlier, Nina and Frode were on a world tour, with their two kids and was devastated to find some of their most treasured places turned into plastic dumps. We knew flip flops to be the world’s most selling footwear, and the vast majority are made of synthetic rubber from bi products of the petroleum industry.
Over two thirds of the microplastic in the ocean comes from synthetic fibers and rubber.
Tor Marius was ahead of the curve when he, during the turn of the century, made it his mission to introduce sustainable footwear to the Nordics and before the night was over, we had a plan to come up with a better option.
On a Mission for People & the Planet
After years of researching everything from algae based to recycled compounds, we found the better option was natural rubber.
After all we bagged close to two decades of product testing since we filled our board bags in 2001. Synthetic rubber was developed due to high demand and rising prices of natural rubber, and aware of the social injustice the plantation workers in the rubber industry was facing we knew we had to make sure we could improve the conditions of the workers. It took us three years to set up the supply chain.
To minimize our impact we managed to set everything up in Sri Lanka where the rubber is drained from living rubber trees in a careful and sustainable process in FSC managed plantations.
Together with our partner Fair Rubber Association, we ensure a fair wage and working conditions for the workers.
Join the Team
Are you passionate about change and believe life is better in flip flops?Join our decentralized team of highly autonomous people. We believe working from where we want to be, doing what we love, makes us better.
Drop us a line and tell us how you can make us improve.