Rothy's

PURPOSE

INDUSTRY

Fashion

PRODUCT / SERVICE

Shoes and handbags

TARGET BENEFICIARIES

IMPACT MODEL

Founded in 2012 but with operations formally kicking off in 2016, Rothy's is a privately-owned sustainable footwear and handbag company, created by Stephen Hawthornthwaite and Roth Martin.

Rothy's shoes and handbags are 3D-knit from 100% recycled materials, mostly plastic water bottles recovered from ocean front communities and other post-consumer recycled products. They currently offer 193 different styles, all made with the same materials, and are continuously adding new products. Since 2016, they have upcycled over 52 million water bottles as prime matter for their shoes and handbags.

Though they have been in operation for a couple of years, the company was recently recognized by Time magazine as one of the "100 best inventions of 2019."

Before having an actual product and manufacturing processes, Rothy's founders had established they wanted to enter the footwear business with an eco-friendly alternative. Thus, Rothy's shoes and handbags were conceptualized to be as sustainable and with as minimal waste as possible. For the shoes, the upper part is manufactured through 3D knit-to-shape technology, which creates one single piece with almost no waste, a huge problem for the fashion industry. The rest of the shoe is handcrafted.

COVID-19 RESPONSE

Rothy's is dedicating one third of their production capacity in their Dongguan factory to the manufacture of washable, durable, knit-to-shape (minimal waste) face masks. However, while the models are tested for maximum safety and they become readily available, both for donations and purchasing, they have sourced 100,000 non-medical masks for a bulk donation to health-care organizations. They have also made a $20,000 donation and have fundraised another $25,000 for masks, exam gloves, and isolation gowns, also for health-care organizations.

The company is also attempting to crowdsource "out-of-the-box" innovations from their community, with the intention of maximizing the impact they can have by dedicating a portion of their manufacturing space to support relief efforts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, they are spearheading the Open Innovation Coalition, a group of like-minded brands created to share resources and collaborate in favor of meaningful impact during the crisis. Some of the brands that are participating are ThirdLove, Marine Layer and Lucky Brand. So far, Rothy's has open-sourced their mask-making knowledge for partners to be able to produce similar items. And through the coalition, ThirdLove (intimate apparel manufacturer) was connected with a local sew-shop in need of elastics for masks and donated the required materials.

LOCATION

Headquarters in San Francisco, storefronts in 4 U.S. cities and one factory in Dongguan, China.

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CASE STUDY:

Rothy's

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