Rothy’s is courting a new fan base. The San Francisco-based women’s brand — known for its trendy knit ballet flats fashioned from recycled plastic water bottles — has launched its first girls’ collection.
“After receiving such incredible feedback on our shoes for women — who have told us that their Rothy’s make them feel empowered and confident — we wanted to create a kids’ collection that inspires those very same feelings in girls. So we decided to build an amazing shoe just for them,” said Elie Donahue, VP of marketing.
Targeted to kids ages 4 to 11, the offering focuses on mini versions of the brand’s classic loafer silhouette in a palette of 10 bold colors and patterns. (An 11th color — purple — is being sold exclusively at Rothy’s brick-and-mortar store, which opened on San Francisco’s Fillmore Street in May.) Highlights include camouflage, leopard and a bright flamingo-pink shade. All of the styles are priced at $65 a pair and available both Rothys.com and at the Fillmore shop.
Like the women’s versions, the kids’ loafers feature comfy, sock-like knit uppers that are machine washable and quick-drying for convenience. They are built on flexible rubber soles, making them a great everyday play shoe. “We knew the shoe needed to be durable to withstand lots of wear and tear on the playground, as well as comfortable and chic,” Donahue noted.
Founders Stephen Hawthornthwaite and Roth Martin created Rothy’s unique eco-friendly concept following several years of extensive research into how shoes are made. Observing the tremendous amount of wasted material that results from the conventional process of cutting out upper patterns and stitching together the pieces, the two came up with the idea for knit uppers.
They utilize 3D printers to essentially knit a shoe around the shape of a foot, only using the exact amount of material needed. To produce its sustainable knits, Rothy’s sources plastic bottles in bulk from recycling centers around the world, chipping them into tiny flakes that are then processed into soft fibers. Since its 2016 launch, the company has succeeded in diverting nearly 13 million bottles from landfills.
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