As I stated in my tweet, I apologize if my statement was taken offensively by any craftsman in Colombia. "Respect" is a stated value at Combat Flip Flops and we strive to be as aggressive as possible in our messaging without insulting those that actually do the work.
Colombia is rad.
Our production team loves Bogota. The materials are fantastic, the people are amazing, and the working relationship is infinitely better than any we ever had in Asia. Plus, we get to work with a small business owner that's supporting his family and community. The "Stoke" is strong in Colombia.
The statement of "We support craftsman, not cartels" is true and we mean every word of it. Similar to Afghanistan's poppy stigma, Colombia is known for it's face-numbing crop. Nearly 50% of the world's cocaine was generated in Colombia. And, the United States spends over $500,000,000.00 annually to stop the flow of drugs. That's $500,000,000.00 of hard earned, taxpayer money that we could use for education, technology, or green energy. EVERY. YEAR. But instead, we spend it fighting a product that is produced by people that have limited viable options to grow or manufacture anything else. Seems kind of stupid, right?
So instead, the Colombian and U.S. governments developed a plan to provide alternative crops, vocational training, and beneficial trade policies––providing viable job alternatives for Colombians. And it works. If policy makers would pay attention, we'd use the shining example of Colombia and develop a similar plan in another nation that's bankrupting this nation––Afghanistan. But I digress.
Over the past 3 years, a small factory operated by Colombian craftsmen and a veteran company grew together.
We support them. They support us.
I really don't care that you tagged all of the sharks with your short–tempered tweet. Or claimed that I'm disrespectful. The "ignorant" was the most offensive, but again––I don't care.
We ground this shit out. As a team. From nothing. And went to the big show. With our A-game. Because people's livelihoods depend on us to make it happen.