Atlanta–The folks at Flip Flop Shops are hoping they started something big. In June, the footwear retailers launched “Stress-Free America Month” to raise awareness—and funds—for the American Heart Association (AHA). Through several initiatives, including “Life’s Too Short to Wear Shoes Rallies” across the country, a Pinterest contest, and in-shop donations, among others, Flip Flop Shops raised $16,000 for the AHA.
Now Flip Flop Shops plan to continue the campaign through August and online. It’s a cause close to the heart (literally) of Brian Curin, president/co-founder of Flip Flop Shops. Curin, 39, underwent lifesaving open-heart surgery in September 2012 to repair severe blockage in his four main arteries that doctors believe was linked in part to high stress he endured earlier in his career.
“We are beyond grateful for all the support we have received from consumers across the nation, our own shop owners and staff, and the action sports industry. June was an amazing month and we couldn’t have done without each and every one of them,” said Curin, noting that Sanuk gave a significant contribution, too. “Since the campaign is going so well, we figure–why limit Flip Flop Fridays to June when the warm weather extends throughout the end of August? So, while summer is in full swing, we are extending the Flip Flop Fridays movement in hopes to spread our message of ‘pace, not race’ to even more people throughout North America.”
Casual Work Wear=Lower Stress?
As part of the campaign, companies are encouraged to have all their employees to wear flip flops to work on Fridays and support the AHA in its efforts to reduce heart disease, which is commonly linked to high stress. To endorse the cause, companies are urged to sign an online pledge and donate $2 to the AHA for every employee that wears flip flops on Fridays.
In fact, a study released in April 2013 by consumer research firm, Alexander Babbage, found a correlation between lower stress levels and relaxed dress codes in the workplace.
After surveying 584 male and female workers in a broad variety of ages, employment, and industries, the research firm discovered that the more formal the dress code, the more stressful the work environment. The survey also found that those who wear flip flops frequently are more likely to have lower or non-existent stress levels than those who wear more formal options like lace-ups, heels or even loafers and flats.
Consumers can make donations at Flip Flop Shops locations in increments of $1, $2, and $5 or online through the Flip Flop Shops Facebook page. To join the conversation via social networks and show your support, use the #FlipFlopFridays hashtag.