From weapons of mass destruction to weapons of change, Combat Flip Flops creates jobs, helps spread humanitarian support, and helps rebuild the economies of war-torn countries.
When Matt Griffin was an Army Ranger in Afghanistan in 2003 hunting Al-Qaeda, he realized the true benefits of humanitarianism. When he left the armed forces, he started traveling the world trying to make an impact any way he could.
An entrepreneur at heart, Griff, as his friends call him, replaced the feelings of despair he felt during and immediately after serving in the military with a feeling of action. After visiting a factory in Afghanistan that produced combat boots, Griff was stoked on his new idea: Combat Flip Flops.
But Griff isn’t in the business of manufacturing flip flops, he’s in the business of manufacturing stoke, the feeling he had watching hundreds of Afghani citizens pridefully provide for their families in that combat boot factory.
But the concept is simple. Griff took a handful of special operations military veterans and deployed them back to countries that had been affected by conflict. He took the military capacity established to manufacture tools for war and used them to manufacture commercial products for peace. Providing jobs in war-torn nations was Griff’s dream.
That handful of people turned into 10 and then into hundreds then thousands then tens of thousands. And his products line has extended far beyond flip flops, which are his biggest seller.
“Welcome to the unarmed forces,” Griff says in a Ted Talk video. He unapologetically makes cool stuff in dangerous places.
And Flip flops were just the start.
“We’ve taken a product that people in nearly every country on the planet wear, and made it a weapon for change,” says the company’s website. Right now, all our flip flops are made in Bogota, Colombia, providing jobs and investing in people who desperately need it. We’ve done that with all the products we sell.
Matt took his passion to ABC’s Shark Tank where he walked away with an investment of $300,000 from power investors Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner and Damon John.