Brands come and go in a blink of an eye. But every now and then a brand comes along that makes you sit up and pay attention; a brand that dispels the hundreds upon hundreds of cookie cutter companies; a brand that truly steals your heart. That brand: Gandys, and the two remarkable young men behind the operation: Rob and Paul Forkan.
In 2004, three years into a once in a lifetime adventure travelling the world, Rob and Paul were tragically left orphaned after their parents both lost their lives in the Boxing Day tsunami. Consumed by grief, but determined to finish the journey that their parents had started, Rob and Paul later spent years travelling the globe, finding themselves, and coming to terms with their incredible loss.
Credit: Anne Oswald/Gandys Flipflops
Once back in the UK, Rob and Paul came to the decision that they would find a positive end to their heartbreaking beginning. With an aim to help orphans in India and Sri Lanka in need of basic essentials. Waking up one morning at a festival with “a mouth like Gandhi’s flip flop”, Robs flippant comment planted the tiny seed of inspiration and Gandys was born.
Now a fully fledged company going from strength to strength, the flip flop brand donates 10 percent of all their profits to the ‘Orphans for Orphans’ mission, Gandy’s official foundation. “Our dream is to open our first children’s home in memory of our parents Kevin and Sandra Forkan this year, which will mark the 10th anniversary of the tsunami,” said Rob.
And the brothers hard work and dedication to such a worthy cause has definitely not gone unnoticed. Earlier this year the Rob and Paul were invited by none other than their Royal Highnesses the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Henry of Wales to Buckingham Palace for the launch of the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme. An inspiring new initiative that recognises the ability young people have to make a tremendous impact on their communities.
In true Gandy’s style the brothers arrived at Buckingham Palace in their all new Liberty print flip flops, armed with a pair each to present as gifts to Princes William and Harry! The Liberty collaboration is the perfect amalgamation of on trend summer footwear and heritage british design including some of Liberty’s iconic prints like Lord Paisley, Isabella and Felix.
Managing Director of Liberty, Ed Burstell, said of the collaboration: “[We] are proud to be working with Rob and Paul on this exciting collaboration … to help fund the sustainable social enterprise Orphans for Orphans, with new visions of homes worldwide for children in need of basic elements was an opportunity we couldn’t miss.”
Gandys for Liberty
It really is quite phenomenal how two young entrepreneurs have managed to not only create such a simple, yet phenomenally effective brand, but also find it in their hearts to help others less fortunate than themselves. Now launching across Europe and internationally, Gandys is on the road to huge success. And I for one will be sporting a pair this summer, to show my support to Rob and Paul and their incredible cause.
By Jenna Jones