There’s an incredibly inspiring story behind this very hip brand that has made us ditch our Havannas and make space in our holiday suitcases for a pair of Gandys Flip Flops.
The business was started by Brixton-based brothers Rob and Paul who were tragically orphaned by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Determined to turn their experience into a force for good, they set up Gandys Flip Flops in 2011. A key part of their business ethos is charitable action- they donate 10 per cent of profits to helping orphaned children in developing countries and their longterm goal is to build their own orphanage and grow to help educate and shelter as many children as possible.
You can read their full story here but we were lucky enough to chat with the brothers to find out how their journey to open their first children’s home in Goa in memory of their parents is going and how you can join 'The Gandys Movement' and become one of 23,000 brand ambassadors (the number of people whose lives were lost in the tsunami) to help make it happen...
Q. How did you come up with the idea for Gandys? Why flip flops?
We decided to create flip flops as we wanted our brand to be something that was as personal to us as the mission itself so after travelling the world in flip flops it seemed to make sense for our mission inspired by what we saw in other countries to be funded by flip flops. The name Gandys was inspired by Rob after he woke up one morning at a festival and stated he had "a mouth as dry as Gandhi's flip flops".
Q. What’s the best part of running your own business?
The best part of running our own business is the sense of achievement you get from knowing what the company has become was started by you from the bottom up and that it is doing something that you truly believe in. It isn't just a job for the sake of it.
Q. And the worst?
There isn't really a worst part of running your own business, especially one like Gandys where we have a HQ full of ambitious, vibrant and creative individuals, but I guess if there was one thing it would be the fact that at the end of the day it is your responsibility to keep the business going and knowing that the Gandys mission to help the orphans depends on the survival of the business.
Q. You've launched an initiate to recruit 230000 brand ambassadorss – how can people get involved?
To become a brand ambassador you first have to register to receive an ambassador number, then you share our number and change your cover photo on facebook and twitter, next you email all your friends to let them know and spread the word.
Q. What's next for Gandy's Flip Flops?
We are opening our first childrens home by the end of 2014 and then the sky is the limit for helping orphans in India, hopefully another childrens home and help educate and shelter as many children as possible.
Q. And the one you probably get asked the most, what's your favourite Gandy's colour?
Rob's favourite is 'Goa green' and Paul's is 'Necker red'.
We quite like the hot pink!