Rothy’s cuts waste, enables supply chain collaboration with new tech solution

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
Rothy’s is utilizing PLM technology to streamline product development and distribution.

Rothy’s is utilizing product lifecycle management (PLM) technology to overhaul the design, manufacturing and distribution of shoes, handbags and accessories.

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in San Francisco, Rothy’s is best known for its eco-friendly women’s shoes which are made from single-use plastic bottles and other recycled materials. The shoes — all flats and priced at $125 to $165 — are knitted together, minimizing waste and also making them extremely comfortable, according to fans.  

According to the company, its “knit to shape” process results in 30% less material waste than the traditional cut-and-sew methods. Rothy’s has also expanded into accessories and men’s footwear. Rothy’s sells its products through an online site and brick-and-mortar stores in select cities.  

The company produces all of its goods at its wholly-owned factory, enabling it to have complete control over manufacturing and achieve LEED certification. Facing the challenges of rapid growth, sustainability goals and supply chain disruption, Rothy’s decided to implement the Centric PLM platform.

The Centric solution provides Rothy’s with a central digital repository, as well as the means for remote collaboration and complete distance working, which it utilized extensively during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company also utilizes PLM technology to track the certificates, processes, and energy consumption data needed to maintain its LEED certification.

Rothy’s also plans to leverage the PLM platform to help achieve its goal of providing circular products. Centric PLM technology enables the company to categorize materials and products by adding circular labelling and instructions for end-of-life recycling.   

“Because everything in our shoe is natural or recycled, it’s easy to repurpose those components,” said Heather Howard, COO, Rothy’s. “We’re deconstructing and reclaiming these twice recycled materials to create something new.”

Rothy’s valued at $1 billion in deal

The Brazilian owner of Havaianas, best known for its iconic flip flops, made a major investment in Rothy’s in late December 2021. Alpargatas S.A. acquired a 49.9% stake in Rothy’s in a two-step transaction that included an investment of $200 million in primary capital, followed by an offering to acquire approximately $275 million of Rothy's shares from current stockholders.

The deal valued Rothy’s at $1 billion. Alpargatas has the option to buy as much as the entirety of Rothy’s between the first and fourth anniversaries of the deal. Alpargatas and Rothy’s are both vertically integrated.