Finland’s celebrities were eager to promote cheap sandals – Maria Veitola apologized

HappyFlops sandals ring around.

The HappyFlops brand of plastic slippers has caused a stir as its marketing has raised questions. Additionally, the Happyflops website claims health benefits, but there is no scientific evidence for this.

Many Finnish influencers and public figures have lent their face to the Swedish sandal brand. May Day Darkness, Jutta Larmin, Maria Veidolan And Janni Hussain Additionally, other famous public figures have also promoted colorful plastic shoes.

Some consumers began to wonder about the huge amount of advertising that began to be repeated several times on Instagram and Facebook pages. Currently, few people have managed to avoid HappyFlops ads. Dress care professional and responsible influence Outie Pie He took a stand on the matter on his own Instagram.

Iltalehti interviewed Outie Pie and asked why HappyFlops’ ad was problematic and whether influencers, consumers or the company were to blame.

Backgrounds are not clarified

Swedish brand Happyflops sells plastic slippers for 29.90-49.90 euros. Although the selling company is a Swedish company, the sandals are made in China. HappyFlops offers products directly from the Chinese factory to consumers with individual shipments.

According to Outie Pie, finding out the background and responsibility of a company or product takes effort. If the background work is not done properly, the influencer may end up promoting a brand that doesn’t match their values.

– Here the backgrounds are not clarified and it has just happened. Pai even says that advertising agency slogans seem to have gone completely uncritical in this regard.

The value chains of the textile industry are long and the modes of operation varied, and in the case of Happyflops the value chain is complex.

– Many consumers have ordered sandals because they believe that all the big influencers are doing their background work properly. That is, they have bought something that does not correspond to reality. Of course, there are influencers who aren’t a significant factor in terms of the companies they promote, says Pai.

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This is not a new phenomenon

According to the liability expert, the HappyFlops problem is by no means new, as the slippers in question have been advertised under different brand names for nearly a decade. Names vary from marshmallow slippers to cloud slides. Thrift store Temu also sells similar sandals.

At the root of the problem are cheap products manufactured irresponsibly in dangerous countries and fast fashion labeled as non-existent.

– Now Swedish HappyFlops has only succeeded in branding the shoes as its own recognizable brand with the help of influencers and aggressive social media advertising. The product is still the same old cheap product, but with a new logo. So the consumer pays only for the brand and not for the quality.

Because of the marketing volume and well-known influencers, Pai felt it was her duty to tell her Instagram followers about it.

Many Finnish public figures have promoted Happyflops, such as Vappu Bimi and Janni Hussey. Facebook / Screenshot

The material of the sandals is EVA-foamed (ethylene-vinyl acetate) soft foam. Since both the production of the product and the “assembly” of the product take place in the dangerous country of China, it is better to have a certified product and an inspected factory that guarantees product and chemical safety.

However, HappyFlops has none of this, and its website makes no mention of the product responsible.

– The appearance of authenticity is sought through selected influencers, confirming the pie problem.

The expert also gives an example that should set off alarm bells.

– If the consumer wishes to return the product, Happyflops advises to donate it to a charity. So HappyFlops sandals are not really worth the return fee.

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Cheap products made in dangerous countries also have their own chemical risks. Pyy states that HappyFlops do not carry the Oco-Tex chemical safety mark, so there is no guarantee of their safety.

– Because of this, I would not recommend these shoes to be used by children, for example, these cheap products are associated with the risks of hormonal disturbances, among others.

Responsibility lies with everyone

HappyFlops uses language on its website that mentions health benefits. Happyflops’ website mentions the term “pain relief” as a medical health product. Additionally, the website states, “HappyFlops has helped many customers with bad joints.” There is no evidence for the claims.

– Unsubstantiated and untested health claims regarding textile products should be avoided.

Pai has seen Finns using the shoes as work shoes in shops and cafes, which experts say is worrying.

According to Pai, the responsibility lies with all parties: products, consumers and influencers promoting the company.

– Big influencers in particular will need more extensive background work because their followers trust them to learn about the background of the products and companies they promote. It would be naïve to think it wouldn’t.

Maria Veitola has apologized for collaborating on Instagram’s Stories section.

– When starting the collaboration, not enough background research was done and questions about the company’s background weren’t asked, Veitola wrote, saying the executive office cooperated on Veitola’s behalf.

The journalist ends his apology with the words “Let’s learn from this.”

According to Outie Pie, the world is full of irresponsible gray area operators like HappyFlops. For influencers and agencies, such operators are attractive partners because they often have larger marketing budgets than domestic and more responsible operators.

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Ask influencers to declare the responsibility of the parties they represent. Behind the influencers, various PR and communication agencies work, which propose partners and conduct initial inquiries.

– If the office does not have open values ​​related to responsibility, for example, they will perform tasks for any company. I want all advertising, communication and PR agencies to have their own code of conduct (code of ethics).

According to Pyy, it is better to buy only textiles delivered from the European Union that have consumer certificates or at least Oeko-Tex.

More on the topic

Textile industry professional and responsible influencer Outty Pine provides tips for quickly verifying a textile brand’s responsibility. Will the following be fulfilled, Pyy asks to hear.

1. Online store should have its own page for liability. There is detailed information about the brand’s production, working conditions, salaries, environmental values ​​and the world of values.

2. The country of manufacture (manufactured) of the products is clearly indicated in the product information.

3. The product should not contain abstract environmental or at least unsubstantiated and unspecified health claims.

4. Preferable fibers to be used called products i.e. responsible textile fibers as defined by Textile Exchange.

5. The fiber content of the product is indicated in official fiber terms.

6. Products have certificates or eco-labels and these mentioned certificates and labels have their own websites.

7. Textiles produced outside the EU must carry the Oeko-Tex chemical safety mark.

8. Company ID number can be easily found in online store.

9. The product is delivered from the retailer or brand’s own warehouse in the EU. Not directly from a factory in a dangerous country.

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