Two hard-working Army Ranger veterans-turned-entrepreneurs joined forces to take on a new challenge: good fashion for a great cause.
It all started while Matthew Griffin was on duty. He visited factories located across from his station in Afghanistan, according to Men's Journal. While walking through one of the factories he noticed a flip-flop thong attached to a combat boot. That's when it dawned on him – he had a vision to create this exact product. After pairing up with veteran and friend, Donald Lee, the two (who both served tours in Afghanistan), created the company "Combat Flip Flops." This was just the start of what their business would turn into.
The two were inspired by similar circumstances. While serving in the U.S. Army, Griffin and Lee were exposed to people struggling. Even if people in these countries were hard workers, they had nowhere to use their creativity or earn money. The men decided to take it upon themselves to tackle these issues and make a change. They used their business to provide these people with job opportunities. Combat Flip Flops products are manufactured in the U.S. as well as in Bogota, Colombia and Afghanistan.
All products were designed to portray life in Afghanistan, from the Men's "AK-47" flip-flop featuring heat stamped poppies, cast bullet casings and a yellow leather to the Women's "Bombshell Dark" with straps of Afghan patterns and chrome grenade detailing.
Though their vision started with flip-flops, the merchandise has grown even more and now an array of clothing and accessories are available. On the website. each item has a short summary, explaining where it was made and what the proceeds from your purchase will be supporting. A portion of the funds for each accessory, like the "CFF Shemagh" scarf, made out of local materials and embroidered in Kabul, Afghanistan, are donated to a charity. The proceeds of this scarf in particular are donated to the Aid Afghanistan for Education Foundation, which allows women in Afghanistan to attend secondary school.
This dynamic duo, have come a long way since they first started. From making the flip-flops in Griffin's garage to being featured on a February episode of "Shark Tank," ABC's reality show that gives entrepreneurs a chance for success, these veterans have been changing people's lives one flip-flop at a time.