Issaquah’s Combat Flip Flops is a post-conflict success story

March 11, 2014

What do Army Rangers, a dedication to helping global post-conflict areas and flip-flops have in common? Together, they create innovation in Issaquah.

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce honored Combat Flip Flops last month as one of three Innovation in Issaquah award winners. The award marked another milestone in the interesting business’ trajectory, which began in the mountains of Afghanistan.

By Greg Farrar Matt ‘Griff’ Griffin, CEO of Combat Flip Flops, poses in his Issaquah workroom with a sarong hand-embroidered by a woman-owned business in Afghanistan, along with the very first finished pair of sandals he produced in February 2013.

By Greg Farrar
Matt ‘Griff’ Griffin, CEO of Combat Flip Flops, poses in his Issaquah workroom with a sarong hand-embroidered by a woman-owned business in Afghanistan, along with the very first finished pair of sandals he produced in February 2013.

“We fought in a different war,” company co-founder Matthew Griffin, casually known as “Griff,” said in his Issaquah garage, which served as the manufacturing facility for the first 4,000 pairs of flip-flops. “We had to run guys down in the most adverse conditions. But it was a really giving culture and we never forgot it.”

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‘Business not bullets’

July 23, 2013

Entrepreneurs seek to transform Afghan economy with flip-flops

By Christina Corrales-Toy Andy Sewrey, Combat Flip Flops president, wipes away the excess rubber from a sandal he created in the Issaquah garage where the company manufactures the shoes.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Andy Sewrey, Combat Flip Flops president, wipes away the excess rubber from a sandal he created in the Issaquah garage where the company manufactures the shoes.

Many have heard the adage, “Take the bull by the horns,” but very few, if any, have ever attempted to slip a pair of flip-flops on the horn.

That is until Issaquah resident Matthew “Griff” Griffin attended Spain’s Running of the Bulls in mid-July, and in a feat of daring recklessness, tried to place a pair of sandals on the horn of a charging bull.

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