Go Global - User Stories

Tropicfeel: How a Crowdfunding Campaign Became a Community Project

Gayatri Bhaumik

by Gayatri Bhaumik

On 2020 M03 20

by Gayatri Bhaumik

The idea for Tropicfeel came when founders Lucas de Gispert and Alberto Espinos discovered their shoes couldn’t keep up with life on the road. During a 25-day trip through Thailand, the pair hiked for over 100 hours and were left with disintegrated shoes. From this experience came a desire to create a versatile shoe that could withstand almost any condition. The result was Tropicfeel, two wildly successful crowdfunding campaigns, and many lessons learned.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re planning a crowdfunding campaign. You have to set a funding goal, figure out some marketing initiatives, prepare your prototypes, and if you’re smart, decide on fulfillment processes. The one thing you probably won’t think about is what to do with any products leftover from your campaign. Such was the case for Tropicfeel, an Easyship client.

From Fundraising to Community Outreach

The company signed up for an account and used Easyship to fulfill their second campaign and after distributing their shoes to all their backers, discovered they had 700 pairs left at their Hong Kong warehouse. They could, of course, have just kept the shoes there until they were needed to for other sales orders.

Instead, the company decided to do some good. Tropicfeel already encourages sustainability by getting travelers to think about their environmental footprint, donating 1% of profits to national park conservation, and creating a documentary every year on a particular environmental problem. But, this time, they decided to give back to the local community.

After giving the Easyship team 30 pairs as a thank you, Tropicfeel donated the remaining 670 pairs of shoes to Hong Kong-based non-subvented charity Christian Action.  Through their Green Collection Programme, Christian Action will then sell most of the shoes through their local community sales outlets or to developing countries through their green recycling business partners. The proceeds will be used to sustain the business of Green connect, which promotes being environmentally friendly and creates employment opportunities, and further develop their various services to help the needy. However, some of the shoes will go directly to Christian Action’s service recipients in Hong Kong.

A Useful Lesson

If you’re planning a crowdfunding campaign, you’ve probably got more important things to worry about than what you might do with leftover products. But, once the campaign is over and you’ve shipped everything off to your backers, you may just find that you’re left with a few extra pieces on your hands. Of course, there are many ways you could handle this. But giving back to the community and doing your part to make the world a better, kinder place, could be one option.

At Easyship, our goal has always been to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams by supporting their fulfillment needs. We’re particularly excited about partnering with brands working on sustainable projects that help the environment. Plus, we've got a lot of experience with crowdfunding! We’re helped to fulfill a number of great crowdfunding campaigns like Tropicfeel - and we’re the exclusive shipping partner for IndieGoGo.