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Home is where the slippers are

What is the first thing we do when we get home? We take off our shoes and put on our slippers. Foreigners may find it odd when they are asked to take off their shoes and put on slippers. Dear guests, do not feel uncomfortable. You are very welcome. Wearing slippers at home is our cultural habit that has been passed on from generation to generation.

It really feels nice and cosy when you put on warm and soft slippers. Especially, if they are the very special Kaaita slippers.

Kaaita has been around for 16 years and is a true testament to the company's success in pursuing a green and sustainable vision.

The company favours handmade products, sustainable materials and techniques, as well as fair relations.

Responsibility towards the environment and the people involved is the aim we pursue, pointed out Alenka Repič, the founder and creative director of Kaaita, a "creative manufacture".

  • Alenka Repič

    Alenka Repič, the founder and creative director of the Kaaita manufacturer. Photo: Manca Jevšček

"The driving force behind the company's development is innovation in terms of sustainable organisational structure, supply chain, and particularly in terms of the range of products provided to help the most ambitious hotels in Europe find sustainable solutions to their problems", Ms Repič added.

Why slippers in particular?

About a year ago, the company produced more than twenty different products. Today, their focus has shifted exclusively towards the manufacturing of sustainable hotel slippers. "It was high time that the market was offered a better alternative to white, cheap, non-eco-friendly slippers", director Repič said.

"The idea for developing slippers may indeed originate from the habit of Slovenians. I associate slippers with the warmness of home. Interestingly, we designed them as a New Year's gift with the greeting card quote "Home is where the slippers are". We set to work very seriously and it took us one year to develop the product. The designer borrowed wooden feet from a shoemaker and designed a slipper in a shape that perfectly fits the foot. We have substantially upgraded the classic model of slippers in terms of environmentally friendly improvements. Our dedication to developing the product is still paying off today," Ms Repič said.

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Sustainable design and environmental responsibility

Kaaita products are made of Slovenian materials. They are manufactured by a team of Slovenian craftsmen and artisans who, to the best of their ability, contribute to the continuous improvement of the same product.

At first glance, Kaaita slippers may appear to have remained the same since 2009. Yet their composition and material quality are being constantly improved, as well as their manufacturing method, the quality of the non-slip print on the soles, and the packaging that is no longer simply waste but can be re-used.

An important goal of the company is to minimise waste.

"We have been given strong support in terms of creativity and the recycling of waste slippers. Our buyers are sustainably-minded hotels that are more than willing to work with us and support the initiatives such as "Throw away is so uncool. Enter take away." or, for example, the recycling of used slippers in their local environment", Ms Repič pointed out.

  • Naked legs in Kaaita slippers

    Natural and soft Kaaita slippers. Photo: Kontrastika

Kaaita slippers are made of felt produced from recycled plastic bottles. The production process follows the principles of simplicity and minimalism.

One pair of slippers is sewn from one piece of fabric and one type of material, which makes the recycling much easier, minimises the number of seams as well as the number of different sizes. They have made sure that the upper part of the slipper fits the foot well, so that the sizes M and XL cover most people’s needs.

  • A girl in slippers holding a flower

    Kaaita slippers have been designed only with natural and recycled materials and a minimum number of seams. Photo: Kontrastika

"The shape is very special, recognisable to represent our company. Rather than modern women's or men's slippers, I deliberately wanted a design for unisex, timeless slippers," Ms Repič explained.

Needless to say, Kaaita slippers come with plastic-free packaging. A simple paper band is enough to keep the slippers together; the slippers are also sent in packaging that is just a slipper bag, or an envelope serving as gift packaging.

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Kaaita Lux slippers are very special and fragrant. Their sole is made with an extra layer of fabric and a handful of lavender flowers that are sewn into the ergonomic part, which feels like a nice foot massage.

"The idea to add lavender was born out of my enthusiasm for its fragrance and the challenge of what to do with large quantities grown by my mother-in-law near Ankaran and my father who grows lavender under the hot sea sun on the Croatian coast. We have been successfully growing lavender in central Slovenia for the second year in a row now," explained the creative director, who never seems to run out of ideas.

With Kaaita slippers across the world

Kaaita slippers are mainly sold to hotel customers Europe-wide. Individual buyers can also choose their favourite pair of Kaaita Slippers to buy online. The slippers are sold all over the world, particularly in Great Britain with many loyal customers who appreciate the intriguing design, sustainable orientation and comfort of Kaaita products.

  • A girl walking in slippers

    When you put on natural slippers and take a walk through a sustainable hotel...then you take them home as a souvenir. Photo: Kontrastika

What are Kaaita's plans and aspirations? "To grow our business to the size that will still be able to provide personal and sustainable support to our customers in offering their guests sustainable hotel slippers. From that point on, we will continue to grow, but in terms of quality, rather than size," said the successful entrepreneur Alenka Repič.

Author: Danila Golob

Date: 3. April 2020

Time to read: 4 min