Rainbow Sandals Inc. was established in 1974 in Laguna Beach, California by Jay "Sparky" Longley and is currently based out of San Clemente, California. The company specializes in men's and women's leather, hemp, and rubber flip-flops.
When Longley first started making sandals, he was assembling 15 pairs per day out of leather and Malaysian rubber in the garage of his Laguna Beach home. He relocated to San Clemente in 1975 and began manufacturing 1,200 pairs of sandals a day. Since 2002, the majority of the sandals have been produced by a factory that houses over 3,000 workers in China.
Rainbow sandals are unisex sandals that were only sold and distributed all over California before it became a popular demand. Now, the availability has spread throughout many parts of the world. Rainbow sandals are generally regarded as high-end flip-flops due to their construction with leather, ranging in price from $16 – $90. A regular pair usually cost about 50 dollars, depending on the tax. The high end Rainbow Sandals are decorated with diamond crystals on both of the straps. Rainbow Sandals are available online and at department and specialty stores nationwide, the original factory store in San Clemente, and two company-owned retail stores in New York City and Los Angeles.
Rainbow Sandals also offers many different types of footwear for a wide range of prices. The product offerings have also increased from just sandals to include shoes and boots. Leather is not the only material available; for the environmentally minded there is also a line of hemp products. For those who are opposed to the use of natural animal hides, Rainbow Sandals offers synthetic materials as an alternative.
Rainbow Sandals is active in supporting the beach lifestyle and preserving the oceans. Rainbow Sandals has sponsored numerous Standup Paddling (SUP) Events in both Hawaii and Southern California. Dubbed the "Battle of the Paddle", these events provide a showcase for manufacturers and for competitors to further the sport of Standup paddling.
On May 14 and 15 2011 the Battle of the Paddle will once again be held at the Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Ft. De Russy Beach Park, HI.
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- Nguyen, Hang (21 Apr 2006). "$7 billion sandal industry is in midst of one of its prime selling seasons". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2008-07-27.