Okay, so they’re hand-painted by an artist. And “for a good cause.” According to Mogulite (who have the press release):
Each (slightly psychedelic) ‘flop is hand-pained by noted Los Angeles artist David Palmer. [...] The proceeds to help protect 100,000 square feet of endangered rainforest land.
I guess tacking an environmentalist slant on this is how you get away with charging $18,000 for flip-flops. Or, maybe (because there’s an artist involved!) it’s some kind of scathing commentary of consumer culture? Or it’s just fucking dumb. One of those.