Just in time for the warmer weather, this week’s episode of The Town Haul features TIDAL New York, an eco-friendly flip flop line that is changing the shoe game from material to manufacturing.
Our host, Amy Koonin Taylor, sits down with Tim Gibb, co-founder of TIDAL New York, to kick off the summer of sustainable products. The new B Corp on the block, TIDAL’s unique sandal is both a comfortable and circular solution.
On what makes their product lines so unique:
TIM GIBB: “Let’s make stuff that lasts a long time and build our repeat business on reputation and quality. If we’re going to have to charge more for our product then we want to pack it with good reasons for it to be purchased. We want our customers to feel really, really good about it. That is from the product all the way through to the ethics of the company. We dove into the materials and that drove some of the machinery purchasing too, but polyurethane, for all the different outsole possibilities that there were, is really the best material out there. It has a higher durability, it has a higher abrasion resistance, and most importantly, it has a much more robust compression set, which is opposed to EVA and some other materials. The compression set is best explained as energy return or bounce. We say that our flip flops are five times more durable than the average flip flop, and that is directly speaking to the compression set. The material feels very similar to EVA on the shelf, but the real magic for us is after you’ve been wearing them for a day, they still feel like they did when you slipped them on. That’s great on the micro level, on your daily trip and if you’re walking around.”
On the motivation behind their recent B Corp Certification:
TIM GIBB: “First and foremost, we want trust. We want our customers to trust us. Our flip flops are now USDA bio preferred certified, based on the renewable content in them. That certifies the product, and the B Corp certification certifies the company so that people can feel really, really good about purchasing from us. Yes, we want to measure ourselves and we want to have that framework for how can we be better, and that’s one of the best things about the assessment, is just assessing where you are and where your shortcomings are and where you can be better, so there’s those things and that’s helped us to inform future goals, but the B Corp certification for us was just really about making sure that the customers knew that we stood by every word that we spoke and that we were truthful.”
On how TIDAL pivoted and adapted during the pandemic:
TIM GIBB: “We’re a really lean group. Our factory’s in New Rochelle and then we had a design office in New York City, so we were already used to being decentralized in terms of the operations. But on our factory operations, we’re a really lean team and all of our stations are like 50 feet or further away, so we were already really well situated for any sort of social distancing or anything like that to continue operations. Then beyond that, it was really just taking the next step and increasing the cleanings of the factory and making sure that there was plenty of sanitizer, face shields, gloves, masks, all that for the staff, but we weathered it pretty well. We were able to make it through not unscathed from a business standpoint, we took a hit on revenue, but in terms of the overall operations of the company we were able to shift and move. We’re blessed with a really amazing staff that really just wanted to figure out what needs to be done. We’ve adapted and we’re feeling good about what the future holds.”
On what success means to Gibb:
TIM GIBB: “Success is a self-sustaining company where there’s an employee ownership aspect and where everybody has a voice.”
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Amy Koonin Taylor is Marketing Content and Media Manager at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.