FN Spy

How the Duchess of Sus­sex has helped this sus­tain­able footwear com­pany sell more shoes.

Footwear News - - CONTENTS - By Nikara Johns

How the Duchess of Sus­sex fu­eled se­ri­ous busi­ness for one shoe brand.

Eco-con­scious shoe brand Rothy’s is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the power of the “Meghan Markle ef­fect” first­hand. Dur­ing her Aus­tralian tour with hus­band Prince Harry this month, Markle swapped her heels for the com­pany’s sig­na­ture flats on Oct. 16 and again on Oct. 18. Now Rothy’s, which has gar­nered a cult fol­low­ing for its shoes made out of plas­tic wa­ter bot­tles, is see­ing a se­ri­ous boost in busi­ness since Markle sported them. Kerry Cooper, pres­i­dent and COO, said it has had a three- to four­fold sales in­crease in the black Point style Markle wore. “We’re thrilled to see that Meghan is a gen­uine fan of Rothy’s, be­cause we’re all huge fans of hers. We love to see or­ganic love for the brand build,” Cooper said. “The whole team is ex­cited that Meghan’s de­ci­sion to swap her heels for flats has in­tro­duced so many new women to the brand.” Since Markle’s ap­pear­ance, on­line users have al­most dou­bled, and both or­ganic and di­rect traf­fic has in­creased by a fac­tor of three to four, ac­cord­ing to Cooper. Plus, other styles have ben­e­fited from the resid­ual im­pact, with sales for the Grey and Leop­ard Point col­or­ways al­most dou­bling.

The San Fran­cisco startup, which launched in 2016, is all about sus­tain­abil­ity. Founders Stephen Hawthorn­th­waite and Roth Martin cre­ated Rothy’s unique con­cept fol­low­ing years of ex­ten­sive re­search. The goal has been to re­duce waste in ev­ery step of the shoe­mak­ing process.

Cooper ex­plained, “With sus­tain­able man­u­fac­tur­ing prac­tices as a base­line, we can build a col­lec­tion of beau­ti­ful prod­ucts that don’t ne­ces­si­tate waste. In ad­di­tion to man­u­fac­tur­ing, we think about sus­tain­abil­ity in our ma­te­ri­als, the ex­tended life­span of the wash­able shoe and close con­trol of the sup­ply chain so we’re not over­pro­duc­ing.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

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