What can you make out of polyurethane?
Bowling balls and soccer balls, surf boards and roller coasters, insulation and bandages and flip-flops. The list of “things” you can make from polyurethane is quite long.
At a New Rochelle (just outside of New York City) company named Tidal, they make flip-flops from polyurethane – but they make something else too – they make a difference in the lives of the Army and Marine Corps vets who work there. More than 80 percent of Tidal’s factory workers are veterans.
Oh, Tidal has the full-on 21st century at work (we’ll show you what the factory floor looks like in a moment): like pouring liquid polyurethane into molds (instead of cutting the flip-flops out) – digital UV printers for the art on your footwear – and yeah, you can find them on Instagram.
But there are some serious old-school values at work there too: all the materials come from U.S. suppliers – if you don’t like the flip-flops, they take ‘em back, and you get your money back, period – and, their commitment to hiring ex-servicemen and women.
So let’s turn over the mic to Pat and Siul, Adam and Joe – veterans and Tidal employees, who will show you what they do – the molding, the printing, the strapping, the inspecting – and they’ll tell you a bit about who they are too. We’ll see you back here in 90 seconds.
Our part in this story is a modest one. But to make polyurethane, you start with petrochemical building blocks, such as propylene and benzene – so what we make, helps make possible what Tidal makes – the flip-flops, and the difference.
And with summer in the air already, and on the calendar soon, if you’re thinking about something new for your feet this season, you might take a look – and you can do that here: Tidal New York.