There is a new flip-flop brand on the market, crafted especially for millennial customers.
The line, called Third Oak, has all the feel-good characteristics that younger consumers value: It’s made in the USA, is 100 percent recyclable and cruelty free, and its leadership team is made up primarily of women.
It also has an authentic backstory: Third Oak is a new division of Okabashi, the private, family-owned footwear company that has been manufacturing in Buford, Ga., for more than 30 years.
Okabashi CEO Sara Irvani explained that the name Third Oak highlights both a rich history and core mission. For instance, Irvani is a third-generation American shoemaker, and the bio-based material that the flip-flops are made from is No. 3 recyclable. The word “oak,” meanwhile, is a reference to the company’s concern for the environment — and for the actual oak trees that grow outside its Georgia factory.
“People care more now about responsible manufacturing and what a brand stands for,” Irvani told FN. “And as a millennial CEO, I want to be able to sleep at night knowing that we are doing our part to make the world a little better.”
While ethical practices are a key component of Third Oak, Irvani said aesthetics are equally important. “No good intention is good enough if you don’t have a great product,” she said.
Third Oak has launched with the Scout silhouette, a slim-cut women’s flip-flop that comes in about 20 fashion colors, including nudes, metallics and bright tones. It retails for $30. A second women’s sandal, featuring a back strap, will be added in the next month (priced at $35) and men’s styles will debut in June.
The line is currently selling direct to consumer on the brand’s website, Discoverthirdoak.com, but the Okabashi team also aims to wholesale to medium-to-large chains throughout the country. “We’re looking to work with retailers that have Colorado values and New York style,” said Irvani.
In addition to launching Third Oak, Irvani also continues to grow the long-standing Okabashi and Oka-B brands and has expanded the firm’s private-label operations. That has contributed to 30 percent annual growth company-wide, according to execs.
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