"Winning hearts and minds was never quite so cool or so stylish."
"[Combat Flip Flops'] idea was to design a manufacturing technique using local resources and manpower to create a product that could be made in-country and sold to first-world markets
~The Huffington Post
" Working with a group of marketers, supply line specialists, and craftsmen CFF is poised to change the way we pick up the pieces of violent conflict."
Combat Flip Flops creates peaceful, forward-thinking opportunities for self-determined entrepreneurs affected by conflict. Our willingness to take bold risks, community connection, and distinct designs communicate, "Business, Not Bullets"--flipping the view on how wars are won. Through persistence, respect, and creativity, we empower the mindful consumer to manufacture peace through trade.
The journey began with the 75th Ranger Regiment. Lee and Griff made their first trip to Afghanistan in the Winter of 2003. After several deployments and reality of a growing families, they separated from the military in 2006 and continued to support troops through other avenues. In 2010, Griff returned to Afghanistan to assist the growing Afghan National Army. On that trip, he toured an Afghan-owned boot manufacturing plant and saw where a factory worker punched a flip flop thong through a combat boot sole. The idea was born.
Combat Flip Flops Campaign Video of the Day 25 October 2013
Combat Boot Factory in Kabul, Afghanistan September 2012. This factory is now closed. Let's put 'em back to work with this campaign!
Expeditionary Production Facility
After multiple factory closures due to the international withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, the Combat Flip Flops team had to design a factory, build a production line, and knock out flip flops for paid orders on a shoestring budget in the good ol' USA. The result was a highly efficient, reduced footprint, easily maintained factory operated with little to no training.
Trust us--we had zero training and made over 3,000 pair of flip flops over the course of two months.
The thought occured to us, "Why can't we put this model in Afghanistan?" So we went to the drawing board and designed our factory to be placed in Afghanistan. The result is a flip flop factory shipped in a 40' shipping container--The Expeditionary Production Facility.
What We Need
The Team needs $500,000 to build the EPF, ship the EPF, install the EPF, Hire and traing workers, and purchase raw materials for ONE YEAR OF PRODUCTION. We're an open book, so here's the breakdown.
With a donation, you'll be enlisting in our unarmed forces. Perks include full offering of CFF products, unique donations from other brands, CFF commercial roles and yes... possibly flip flops for life. Check them out.
The ISAFF (I Support Afghan Flip Flops) Patch
With any donation of $25 or more, you'll get to wear the badge that says you support abrupt change in Afghanistan. Enlist, join our unarmed forces, and work toward something better.
Check out the perks from other forward thinking companies in the Campaign Gallery
"All in. All the Time" ~ Tommy V
THIS IS AN ALL OR NOTHING CAMPAIGN.
Combat Flip Flops is a veteran-owned, small business. Our goal is to employ people in Afghanistan and other post-conflict areas all over the world. In addition to making cool stuff in dangerous places, we help veteran organizations, sponsor medical missions ot the most remote regions of the world, and work to make sure you feel included.
When this campaign is funded, you will have done the following:
-Prove that businesses have more impact than bullets
-Employ 25 Afghans to manage and run the EPF
-Build 60,000 pair of flip flops in Afghanistan
-Become the #1 Footwear and #1 Textile Exporter of Afghanistan
-Create paid employment for five Americans on the CFF Staff
-Hell man, you got to put a flippin' flip flop factory in Afghanistan. Who does that?
Other Ways You Can Help
We understand times are tight. If you don't have the ability to contribute, please just send a word of support, tell your friends, and encourage them to share/donate.
Karma goes a long way. Everything helps.
See you on the Objective.
Combat Flip Flops.
Frequently Asked Questions
OK, we could answer all the pertinent facts about Afghanistan here, but I hope you would appreciate the efficiency of us posting the following link below.
What news sources should I read regarding current events in Afghanistan? We like Afghanistan News Center. It congregates daily worldwide articles that discuss Afghanistan.
Where are you producing in Afghanistan? Currently, we are producing Sarongs in Kabul, Afghanistan. Our goal with the Expeditionary Production Facility is to put a factory in Herat, Afghanistan and then to other areas as the concept grows.
Does Afghanistan and the European Union have a Free Trade Agreement? Yes. There is 0% Value Added Tax (VAT) for any products made in Afghanistan imported into the EU.
Does Afghanistan and the United States have a Free Trade Agreement? No. Wouldn't it be awesome if they did though? Write your local representative (www.whoismyrepresentative.com) and politely ask for them to do something about that.
If I were to read a book about the history of Afghanistan, what should I read? Afghanistan: A Modern History. Great read without any twists as a result of current events. Alexander the Great, Ghengis Khan, Russia, The U.S.... Thousands of years of strife in under 200 pages.
Why do you like Afghanistan? We love mountains and mountain people. Afghanistan, without the context of war, is a truly amazing place with natural beauty. Unfortunately, we haven't found any rockin' ski lodges or mountain bike trails... yet.
Where are CFF products currently produced? CFF products are made in the following locations:
Footwear- Bogota, Colombia
Bags- Lakewood, Washington USA
Shirts-Spokane, Washington USA
Longboards-Denver, Colorado USA
Sarongs- Kabul, Afghanistan
Your company is named "Combat Flip Flops." Why are you making products other than footwear? If you haven't picked up on it yet, most of our messaging is tongue-in-cheek. A "flip flop" is a piece of footwear, but it also refers to a change in position or belief. We once believed that serving our nation required us to be in a uniform and carry a rifle. Now we understand that promoting a positive image of the U.S. through business is the best thing we can do for our country. So, in all senses... we're flip flops. If you don't get it, no worries. If you do, you can be a flip flop too.
Why are Combat Flip Flops so freaking awesome? We don't know. They just are. All kidding aside, we try to bridge the gap between functionality, fashion, and durability. CFF outsoles are made from military grade combat boot rubber, not thermopastic resin, EVA, or other materials that wear out in a matter of months. The design team has a condition that ends in "retentive" and doesn't sleep until they've figured out the exact durometer of EVA that breaks in under a Wookie after a month of wear. We're all married, so we understand that not only does a piece of footwear have too look good, but it has to feel good against the skin. And lastly, we have the, "I'd rock that" Factor. Nothing is released until the CFF team unanimously agrees, "Hell yeah, I'd rock that."
Why are your products so expensive? Believe it or not, there are a lot of costs that go into developing new products with the criteria of "post-conflict" production. Shipping is the big one. Have you ever bought 2,000 pairs of flip flop parts, stuffed them into a container, and shipped them into a war zone? Probably not. We did. It's ridiculously expensive. On the other hand, the raised eyebrows by customs agents are worth the pain of writing the check. Other than that, we have to pay duties for raw materials going to most manufacturing locations, duties for finished products leaving the country, and import duties into the EU and U.S.. The bills rack up. If you're able to help with less expensive (reliable) shipping and a reduction in duties, please contact us at email@example.com.
What next? It's up to you.
Campaign Gratitude: Thanks for Making This Happen.
Scott Graebke, Evil Genius behind the EPF
Believe it or not, we have a mad scientist. This guy makes Bill Nye the science guy envious. Using years of experience in the sporting goods and aviation industry, Scott designed a low maintenance, low cost, reliable platform to change lives in war torn areas. He's humble, hard working, and we're thankful he's on the team.
You, The Enabler
You're a person that says, "I don't care what conventional wisdom says. I like underdogs, extreme [whatever], and I bring people together for good causes." You're O.K. with accepting the loss of cash as long as you have a good story to go along with it. And you're definitely somebody that says, "I told you it was possible," without it being heard as, "I told you so."