Flip Flopping To The Future


January 2015| 350 views

A pair of Gandys Flip Flops: Orphans for Orphans

A pair of Gandys Flip Flops: Orphans for Orphans

Gandy’s Flip Flops is an unusual brand name resulting from an English catchphrase that Rob, one of the two English brothers who founded the company producing them, used one morning when he woke up, with a mouth as dry as ‘Gandy’s flip flops’.

Even more unusual is the idea behind the product. In the tsunami that devastated Sri Lanka in December 2004, many village children were orphaned when their parents perished in the disaster. Rob and his brother Paul were on a family holiday in Sri Lanka at the time and suffered the same fate when the waves robbed them of their parents. Rob was 17 at the time and his brother 15.

Following the tragedy and when they were back in England supported by relatives, the brothers were inspired to do something so that their parents’ death wouldn’t be in vain. Their parents had instilled in them the value of helping the underprivileged and they had travelled as a family around the world on volunteering missions.

Born from a simple idea inspired by the use of flip flops as footwear at a music festival, the brothers designed their own style of flip flops that they could turn into a profitable business to raise funds, thus creating a sustainable social enterprise that would help and also inspire others to create change. They saw this as an ‘Orphans for Orphans’ mission, supporting children in need of basic essentials such as nutrition, shelter and education.

An ‘Orphans for Orphans’ mission, supporting children in need of basic essentials…

Since they themselves had been orphaned in Sri Lanka, this seemed to be the very place to start.They set up the Gandy’s Foundation with the profits as their flip flops caught on and began to sell around the world. Now the Foundation has started to make an impact by funding children’s homes in India and Sri Lanka. Their vision is to open homes for orphans around the world. ‘Designed in London. Inspired by travel. Fueled by giving back.’

‘Designed in London. Inspired by travel. Fueled by giving back.’

Gandys are currently available in some of UK’s biggest retailers, including Selfridges, House of Fraser, Schuh, Topshop and Topman Oxford Street and Asos.com. Globally, including in Sri Lanka through gandysflipflops.com.

Colourful, yet simple… comfortable and trendy, Gandys flip flops are made of 100 percent rubber making them high quality, durable and 100 percent recyclable. Also the flipflops are FSC certified making them sustainably produced. All flip flops feature Gandys logo, representing the brothers’ time travelling and the woven rope strap of traditional Indian flip flops.

The Foundation has begun to fund the building of a home in Sri Lanka for orphans and under privileged children

The Foundation has begun to fund the building of a home in Sri Lanka for orphans and under privileged children, not just to have a roof over their heads, but also so that the kids can benefit from a good education. The brothers were inspired to set up in Sri Lanka because of the help that Sri Lankans gave them during the tragedy.

“Hopefully we have a lifetime ahead of us in which we can push to build further children’s homes in many other places…”

The brothers say: “Hopefully we have a lifetime ahead of us in which we can push to build further children’s homes in many other places. We really see this as just starting out on our journey and opening the eyes to our vision.”

So for many unfortunate kids in Sri Lanka the future looks brighter, thanks to flip flops.