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Okabashi Brands Expands Buford, Georgia, Operations

Shoe company Okabashi Brands Inc. will expand its existing facility in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The $20 million project is expected to create 340 jobs.

Located in Buford, the company will add new manufacturing lines and increase production by 100 percent.

“Okabashi Brand’s commitment to our community and its people is one that dates back to the 1980s when my grandfather chose to bring his footwear manufacturing background to Georgia,” said Sara Irvani, CEO of Okabashi Brands. “The support from our community has fostered our growth and has allowed us to continue producing quality, American-made footwear. We are thrilled to be contributing to the local economy through this expansion.”

Okabashi sandals are 100 percent recyclable and contain on average 25 percent of recycled content. They are recognized by the USDA Biopreferred program and are made of 45 percent soy by weight.

“I am excited to see a family-owned, homegrown company continue to create jobs and reinvest in Georgians with an environmentally friendly and community-conscious approach,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Okabashi Brands understands the future of manufacturing lies in investing in sustainable practices, giving back to the community, and elevating a skilled workforce from the ground up. I am grateful to our partners in Gwinnett County and the Quick Start program for providing our Georgia companies with the support they need to succeed.”

Okabashi Brands is a third-generation family-owned and women-led shoe company based in Buford, Georgia. Established in 1984, the Georgia Made certified company has sold over 35 million pairs of shoes directly to major retailers, via ecommerce, and to major contract manufacturing customers. The company is one of the 1 percent of footwear manufacturers operating in the U.S. today and is committed to sustainable American manufacturing.

Senior Project Manager Kristen Miller represented the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Global Commerce team on this competitive project in partnership with Partnership Gwinnett, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Georgia Power, and Georgia Quick Start.

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