IMAGINATIVE young designers have an opportunity to design a pair of flip flops to be sold at major retail outlets.

Gandys Flip Flops and the Hampshire Cricket Community Trust – the charitable arm of Hampshire Cricket – have teamed up for an initiative called Gandys Den.

The social enterprise with its distinctive colourful flip flop designs, has a cult celebrity following with the likes of David Beckham, Jamie Oliver, Richard Branson and Kim Kardashian.

The business was launched in 2011, in memory of the parents of two Hampshire brothers Paul and Rob Forkan, following the devastating Boxing Day tsunami in 2004.

Now they want Hampshire school children to get on board with their business which aims to help orphans across the world.

The brothers want pupils to come up with a business plan for their own flip flops – including a design and marketing strategy.

Ten per cent of the profits go towards building Gandys first children’s home in India, whih cis set to open this year.

The competition is open to primary schools, secondary schools and colleges across Hampshire.

Those shortlisted will present their idea to the brothers in a Dragons’ Den- style event and the winner will be announced at the Test Match between England and India at the Ageas Bowl, in July.

Schools who want to get involved in the competition should Hampshire Cricket in the Community by emailing

Paul, who was a one-time BCoT plumbing student, said: “We really believe in the power of young people and we wanted to give kids in Hampshire a chance to show their creativity and business acumen through a project with Gandys.

“We’re passionate about helping children in the UK as well as kids abroad.

“We know how tough it can be to find a job or good work experience, so we jumped at the chance to work with Hampshire Cricket Community Trust.

“It’s a great opportunity for children to come up with the latest design for Gandys and then see their work in some of the UK’s best retailers. We’re excited to see what people come up with!”

Gandys took part in the first International Flip Flop Day last year, which attracted the support of high profile figures including Sir Richard Branson.

This year it will be on June 20 and it looks set to be even bigger as 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the Boxing Day tsunami.

For every pair of flip flops purchased from Gandys at on June 20, the company will donate an extra £5 to the Gandys Foundation.