Fashion Product Sourcing: Make Your Own Foam Slides
Foam slides and Croc collaborations are everywhere. Here’s how you bring them to life and make your own foam slides like these…
Today we talk comfort, affordability, and style… the foam slide and the various Croc collabs and alternatives to the cultural forefront. But what exactly does it to take to make them?
This is the Salehe Bembury x Croc collaboration slide
In this YOUTUBE VIDEO I break down how to make a product like this…
Things to know to make your own foam slides
You’ll need a mold for every size you want to run, which is why you often see combo sizes. Molds cost about $1500 per size if you do it overseas.
The hardest part of this is making sure your mold actually fits well and comfortable for the size… This will take some tweaking and often expensive R&D.
Designs are going to need to be done in 3D, using solutions like Blender. What you want from a designer is a “tech pack” of drawings, sizes, colors, and materials, and ideally 3D files that you can send to your factory. Here’s two example designers on Upwork that would be qualified to help:
To get your design done, take inspiration from the mood boards and sketches below. If you take concepts like these to freelancers like the above, you can work together to get a solid tech pack and set of 3D files for your factory
Once you have your mold… foam units are only a few dollars ($3-7), plastic around the same, making this a VERY high margin item at scale if you’re selling for $20-70.
They do take up a lot of space, so you’ll want to ship by ocean. It’s going to take 30-40 days production + 30-40 days shipping.
Unsent Studio are building their version in public, which gives interesting insights into the process, from inspiration to design to expanding the lineup with colors.
It’s wild how much the identity they worked on here reminds me of the founder’s vision when I worked with the awesome team at Chlorophyll Water, as they started out and before they became the powerhouse they are today.
Some of the same leaves, etc. appeared in the brand’s inspirational deck to get to the logo and label design.
Some one of my favorite aspects of this product is the 100% Landfill Biodegradable bottle. The bottle features a proprietary additive that contains organic materials designed to attract microbial activity within the landfill. A perfect example of adapting to the lifestyle of a brand’s customer.
BACK TO THE INJECTION MOLDING…
The Salehe x Croc packaging is as A+ as the shoe design is.
In a world full of similar products, Warren Lotas managed to put his signature stamp on the foam slide with this wild design.
Speaking of Warren Lotas, he’s a tribute to what happens when you have a unique style, and keep consistently building the brand behind that style until it is undeniable. From zombie streetwear to NBA collaboration, it is quite the transition, built from having the respect of, and success in, the culture.
Since we’re on the subject of molds… I’m a sucker for a ribbed glass bottle.
Curious about glass for your own business? Here’s some options:
Glass factories to approach
Domestic small(ish) business with a great filterable search: Arkansan Glass
PGP Glass are great because they offer stock mold alterations. This means you can take one of their default molds and do a series of customization without the time and tooling costs of a complete new mold. Neck finishes, side/body ramps, cartouche etc.
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