Okabashi Brands Inc, a U.S.-based designer and manufacturer, officially kicks off its 25th anniversary commemoration, celebrating a quarter century of making casual and comfortable shoes in a manufacturing facility in Buford, Ga., just north of Atlanta.
With more than 25 million pairs sold in the U.S., Okabashi's "Made in the USA" status is indeed rare when you consider that almost 99 percent of the U.S. footwear market was supplied by imports in 2006, according to a report titled "2006 Trends: An Annual Compilation of Statistical Information on the U.S. Apparel and Footwear Industries" issued by the American Apparel & Footwear Association.
For 25 years, Okabashi has bucked this trend and produced a domestic product that outperforms overseas competition on design, durability and value.
"While footwear fads have come and gone, Okabashi continues to offer a Made in America shoe for consumers who want quality, comfort and arch support at a reasonable price," said Bahman Irvani, President and CEO. "We will continue to compete against imports by continuing to innovate and stay focused on our core objectives and by not compromising on the quality and durability of our shoes."
Using a unique, proprietary Microplast material, Okabashi designs its footbed to conform to one's foot, supporting the toes, arch and heel at the right places, producing healing comfort and helping avoid and alleviate foot, ankle, leg and back pain. This design commitment led to an endorsement of Okabashi shoes by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) for their ability to promote correct weight distribution and posture.
"In addition to our Made in America commitment, we continually make improvements to become an environmental steward," added Irvani.
All material waste created through the production process goes back into the manufacturing cycle, creating a "wasteless" closed loop system. Over 15 percent of Okabashi shoes are made from that recycled material.
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