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From Strength To Strength: FoamLife’s Co-Founders Talk New Collections & Entering New Markets

Despite challenging and turbulent times in the industry, FoamLife is an outlier, bucking the trend and actually expanding its business at an incredible rate, so we grabbed Co-Founders Karl Read and Timo Mullen to find out the key behind their current success.

It’s been 12 months since we last caught up with you guys, how has business been?
TIMO: Extremely busy! It’s been a good year and we’ve seen phenomenal growth in the business despite the challenges in the global market. FoamLife has continued to grow, solidifying its position as a leading player in the industry. Overall, we are pleased with the trajectory of the business and the opportunities that lie ahead.

How has the brand fared internationally, any new distribution?
TIMO: The feedback is that product sell-through has been strong, and our brand & products have resonated well with consumers.

From the outset, our goal for FoamLife was to be the number one sustainably focused flip-flop brand in the world, we have always been focused on international growth but not at any cost. It’s easy to say yes to any distributor or store for the sake of revenue but we have always believed in the brand first, protect that and the rest will follow.

All of our partners are as passionate about creating something different, as we are. Not only are they great in business but they also care about our industry and the planet. Most live a beach lifestyle and are active in the sports we all love, ultimately that was how we connected with most of them! However, we have also seen that FoamLife not only sells well in core surf stores but also just as well in lifestyle boutique stores stocking premium brands such as Ralph Lauren and Vilebrequin.

FoamLife has versatility, universal appeal, and higher impulse purchase potential, making it easier for stores to accommodate.

For 2024, we have several new distribution partners and have established partnerships with new retailers, allowing us to reach a broader audience internationally. FoamLife will be available in the UK, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Germany, Malta, Canary Islands, Belgium, South Africa, Philippines, Mauritius and the USA.

For the USA, we are currently stocked in the Vissla / Stokehouse stores and several other strong independents. We plan to focus more on this territory next year and look forward to further growth and success in this key market. We plan on attending some key trade shows in the US to further bolster our position in the US market.

New for this year is our partnership with Vissla (Stokehouse) Australia. FoamLife is stocked in their own Vissla branded stores, it’s exceeded expectations and Vissla’s targets in the first season. Due to this success, Vissla (Stokehouse) Australia is now distributing (and currently pre-selling) FoamLife in Australia & New Zealand to Vissla’s wholesale customers. We look forward to seeing FoamLife stocked in over 50 stores across Australia & New Zealand from September 2024. FoamLife x Vissla

How have you structured this year’s range and are there any plans to expand your product categories?
KARL: Our new 2024 Collection is approx. 60 options, including flip flops and sliders, with a fairly even split between Men’s and Women’s styles.

Comfort has remained a priority and we have increased the number of colourways in our best-selling core styles, additionally there are styles with some great new features and marketing stories.

There has been a really positive response to styles where we’ve enhanced and increased the sustainability features. Consumers are gravitating more towards eco-friendly materials and practices; they’re seeking brands that are in-line with their values. Additionally, we’re in the process of our B-Corp journey and hope to be certified by next year.

Responding to consumer demand, we’ve introduced branded beach towels and caps to our product line-up. Furthermore, we’re currently in the process of developing a closed-toe style for both men & women that’s anticipated to launch this winter.

FoamLife flipflop

FoamLife flipflop

You’ve started shipping internationally direct from your website, what was the decision behind that strategy and how is it going?
KARL: We recognised there was an increasing demand for our products from international markets. We have seen a significant increase in online traffic and requests through our customer services and social media wanting to buy our products. It’s been interesting to see the correlation between the countries where we have increased our wholesale business, to the surge in traffic and sales we are now receiving from those territories online. It relates back to our strategy of working with the right partners. It’s important for us as a brand to have cohesive sales channels, such as E-Commerce & Wholesale, that complement each other.

Any other plans for further increasing your distribution globally?
TIMO: We’re always exploring opportunities for distribution with the right partner. We’re committed to expanding our global reach and bringing FoamLife products to new markets around the world. Anyone interested in stocking or distributing FoamLife can get in touch at: [email protected]

120 FoamLife hanging shoes




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