San Francisco Roth Martin wears a dark blue slim suit, black-rimmed glasses, and blond hair combed to one side. If you replace the white flat shoes on your feet with leather shoes, it’s almost like coming out of Monocle magazine.
But those shoes are the focus of this day’s activities. Roth Martin is the founder and creative director of San Francisco’s eco-friendly flat shoes brand Rothy’s. On the afternoon of November 16th, the theme color of Hall C of the Shanghai Fashion Week Xintian Land Show was replaced by the dark blue of the brand logo. In the center of the exhibition hall, there is a row of colorful, highly saturated silk threads and corresponding flat shoes. The back side is painted with a dark blue hand-painted line depicting a bus surrounded by urban streetscapes. Guests are invited to try on it. Take pictures of your shoes, go to the car, and share them on Weibo and WeChat. On the other side is a doll machine with a twisted egg. The rewards in the gashapon include Rothy’s shoes, half-fold coupons and eco-friendly canvas bags.
These flats range in price from $125 to $165 and are all woven from yarn made of plastic leather. Although there are only 4 types of shoes, such as Lok Fu shoes, ballet shoes, pointed shoes and lazy shoes, they are rich in color, can be machine washed, and can be used to make new shoes after recycling. From the try-on experience, the shoe body has a light weight, a certain elasticity and stretch, and is breathable and comfortable. But like many foreign brand flat shoes will have problems, because its design is more suitable for Westerners’ flat feet, Asians with higher insteps usually need to choose half a yard to one yard.
This is the * brand brand meeting held by Rothy’s in China. The company has been established for 6 years and the brand has been launched for 2 years. Its Instagram account has nearly 130,000 fans, but domestic consumers still don’t know anything about it. Roth Martin wants to use this activity to explain his brand and announce two things: Rothy’s wants to enter the Chinese market, and *step is to cooperate with overseas direct-purchasing e-commerce APP “different”.
We have reported on a number of new consumer goods companies with similar business models in the US: woolen sneaker brand Allbirds, eyewear e-commerce brand Warby Parker, mattress brand Casper, etc. They are known as the Direct to Consumer Brand. Common features include: choosing a low barrier and lacking an innovative market; minimalist SKUs, minimalist design; production in China to reduce costs; environmentally friendly elements; Selling directly to consumers, innovating the shopping experience, while reducing intermediate expenditures, speeding up production to retail; being good at communicating directly with consumers on the Internet and social media, marketing at a lower cost, and collecting Customer data quickly introduced products that better meet market needs.
Rothy’s has all of the above features. In fact, San Francisco is the birthplace of such a brand: Allbirds shoes, Everlane, Outlier and Entireworld clothing, which basically constitute a complete environmentally friendly wardrobe. This time, the partner “different” was founded in San Francisco by three former Google employees, Shen Xuehua, Huang Chengdu and Liu Jun.
Roth Martin has worked as a futures dealer, has run a biotech startup, and is a co-founder of the Hedge Gallery and the FOG Art + Design Fair at the San Francisco Art and Design Fair. The dark blue of the logo comes from the common colors of his favorite French artist Yves Klein. It also appears as a brand design logo on the stitch line on the upper edge of the back of the heel. Another founder, Stephen Hawthornwaite, was an investment banking manager specializing in technology companies’ investments and mergers and acquisitions.
The two spent four years researching how to turn a flattened plastic water bottle into a yarn, how to dye it without affecting its elasticity or shape, and how to weave it into a comfortable and durable shoe. At the beginning there were only 2 textile machines and an R&D team of several people. Roth Martin spent three and a half years in China. Later, he met Mao Junchen, a Henanese product manager who worked as a product manager for sports brands such as Nike and Adidas. He was asked to establish a 500-person employee in Dongguan with an area of more than 6,000 square meters. In its own factory, only Rothy’s shoes are produced.
They finally developed the principle of shoemaking by crushing plastic skin into plastic pellets and making them into a yarn. Using a 3D textile machine to weave the upper part of the shoe around the shoe mold, artificially repairing the thread or loop of the machine textile, and then attaching it. Recyclable foam sole. There are only 5 parts in a shoe, 2.5 hours in a pair, no scrap. The entire shoe is not joined with Lycra or elastic fiber, and there is no shoelace for adjustment. It relies entirely on the woven structure to provide elasticity, flexibility and fit. * Dyes that are not fully environmentally friendly: These high-saturation, long-lasting dyes are also chemical dyes.
There are at least three points to the benefits of building a own factory in China. In addition to reducing the intermediate cost, it also enables brands to quickly turn trend elements into finished products based on online sales data, adjust the production schedule and quantity of shoes in time, and reduce inventory pressure. Roth Martin told Curiosity Daily that if they launched the lemon yellow shoe from the official website on Monday and found it sold well in the next few days, they could make up the spot in time after 5 days.
“Because we control the production line ourselves, there will be no waste of resources, and we can quickly adjust according to market demand. People usually only know that the clothing industry is wasteful. In fact, the footwear industry is also a waste of more than 15%. This is because retailers always It is necessary to order 6-9 months in advance, but it is impossible to predict what color styles consumers like, so a large number of products cannot be sold, and they cannot be degraded or recycled after being discarded. But in the current mode, we also use production to transportation. Environmentally friendly, there will be no excess energy or waste of resources,” Roth Martin said.
In addition, although it is an American brand, its own factory means that the price of the product will not be affected by the increase in import and export tariffs, and it can be shipped domestically to ensure the same price in both markets.
But it’s worth noting that the price of buying a pair of minimalist shoes from $125 to $165 is still a bit expensive for domestic consumers. From the perspective of domestic consumption habits, the priority of good-looking and cost-effective is still higher than environmental protection. But Roth Martin said, “Consumers have a self-educational process. Someone has to start the process. It’s not a product that can only be worn for a season but a product that can last for 30 or 40 years, and realize that they want it. It’s less, better, not more, worse life. From the three and a half years I lived in China, Chinese consumers can recognize this.”
Rothy’s is now online on the official website of China and will open up retail channels outside the country in the next year.