Our Story

The original Flip File

Work Smart - Be SmartFlip File was founded in 1970, and has grown into South Africa's leading plastic pocket file brand, renowned for robust, high-quality files.

Unlike other plastic pocket files that split down the seams or tear out at the spine, Flip Files were designed to be hard-wearing and to withstand years of frequent use.

The best materials were used in our original designs, and we committed to staying abreast of technological advancements so we could constantly enhance our files. We have done just that, and today our industry-leading pocket files have become a mainstay of this sector of the stationery market. The same precision, workmanship and dedication to quality that went into the production of the very first Flip File more than 50 years ago guides our business today.

In fact, our brand is so well known that South Africans fondly refer to all pocket files as flip files, even beyond the original Flip File brand.

This reputation has been built on our unwavering promise to consistently deliver product and service excellence, and to continue developing reliable products that complement our customers in both their work and home spaces. 


Our heritage

The very first Flip File was handcrafted in Cape Town, South Africa.

It was born out of an impromptu but genius idea to combine practicality with functionality - a way to keep papers and documents clean, safe and perfectly protected.

It all began with a company called Slide Easy, manufacturers of distinctive single plastic sleeves that dominated the local market. The owner of the company was also an enthusiastic and doting father. While simultaneously reading to and feeding his youngest child, and navigating the mess that goes with that, he had a lightbulb moment. What if he could combine his existing plastic sleeves into a single book?

And so the idea for the first Flip File was born.

Plastic was not recycled in the late 70s, which led to a build-up of reject filing sleeves at the Slide Easy factory. These rejects, instead of being discarded, were reworked into Flip Files. Once a substitute for expensive and inflexible PVC display books, Flip Files became recognised as innovative industry game changers.

Flip File quickly made its way into homes across South Africa, accompanying children and students on their journeys through school and university into the world of work. Moms, teachers and businesses soon recognised the versatility and resilience of these unique files to safeguard documents, and before long Flip File was on its way to becoming an iconic South African brand.

This phenomenal success resulted in Flip File being bought out by the Caxton Group, where it is now part of CTP Stationers.

One character that has been part of this story from the beginning is Flippie the red kangaroo. In looking for a mascot for the brand, the Slide Easy team thought that an animal that had a secure pouch that kept its young safe, dry and protected was ideal, given the synergies between this natural protection and the company's new pocket file. 

Our values

  • We celebrate our brand heritage with pride
  • We consistently work to maintain our top-of-mind awareness among South Africans
  • We remain committed to the highest quality standards on which our brand has been built
  • We are conscious of our environmental impact and commit to environmentally-friendly practices
  • We invest in product development and innovation to constantly do better

How Flip Files are made

We use only the finest quality polyethylene plastic in a triple-layer blend. This gives our Flip Files the strength and durability that moms, teachers, students and office workers have come to trust.

What sets Flip Files apart is that every file is made by hand by our skilled operators. In the manufacturing process, from beginning to end, each file moves through five sets of hands to ensure quality standards are consistently maintained.  A unique quality control slip is inserted into every file when it leaves the factory - a promise to our customers of our commitment to quality excellence. 

Our environmental impact

Our people and the environment are at the heart of our business.  We are aware of our environmental footprint, and create top-class, recyclable products using methods that have minimal impact on the environment.

Flip Files are made using polyethylene, a fully recyclable plastic. During our manufacturing process, we separate our plastic and board waste cuts, which are then sent for recycling.

Our future looks bright!

In recent years we have diversified our filing products, and now import a range of files suited for the corporate space. We will continue expanding this collection to remain a one-stop destination for office filing, presenting and portable paper protection.

Since being bought out by Caxton, the Flip File brand now also has access to greater resources to allow for increased product innovation.