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The unique history of Gandys begins with a trip halfway around the world where the Forkan family sold everything they had to explore and volunteer around the world together. In 2001 Kevin and Sandra Forkan removed their four children out of their structured school system in England and enrolled them in what they believed was the best form of education; the university of life.
With their life’s contents secured in each of their backpacks, the family then embarked on a trip around the world that included travelling as well as volunteering with local charities in India, too. Between swimming the Indian Ocean and hiking the nearby mountains - they travelled with sketchbooks at the ready and Rob and Paul absorbed their travel experiences through visualising products that they as travellers needed but couldn’t find.
However on Boxing Day 2004, Rob and Paul’s lives were forever impacted when they tragically lost their parents in the devastating Tsunami that hit Sri Lanka.
Rob and Paul’s parents instilled in them a keen interest in travelling and adventure and intended to raise all four children with the powerful understanding of the world that only travelling can impart. This awakened in them the burning desire to create something unique in honour of their adventurous parents.
Rob and Paul founded Gandys in order to support their Orphans for Orphans foundation by donating 10% of their profits to helping underprivileged children that are affected by the Tsunami.
The brothers began their mission with the objective to open a kids campus and their dreams came to life when they opened their first Orphans for Orphans children home in Sri Lanka on the 10 year anniversary of the Tsunami.
Their story has touched many people’s hearts and has even attracted the attention of the Royal’s where they were invited to Buckingham palace for the launch of the Queen’s young Leaders program where they shared their journey with the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Gandys has thereafter proved to be an effective platform for Rob and Paul to use in order to bring to life their mission of helping underprivileged children and to creatively express their experiences of travelling the world.
Imprinted into each of their designs is a myriad of their travel experiences combined together to express their unique upbringing and adventurous nature.
Rob and Paul’s initial target was to open their first children’s home by the end of 2014 to mark the 10 year anniversary of the tsunami. They were fortunate enough to have achieved this and furthermore expanded the children's home to accommodate more children and members of the community. The Orphans for Orphans facility in Sri Lanka encompasses a broad range of focus areas - including academic support, woodwork lessons and various sports activities. This facility not only provides important facets of youth development in the community - but ensures that children are safely occupied in after school lessons and parents also have a chance to learn English and Maths.
Their vision is now to open children’s homes all over the world - with Nepal next on our list.
Rob and Paul are extremely proud to have opened their first couple of stores this year, the most significant being the flagship store in Spitalfields Market, London. This was where they received their first ever wholesale order so it’s great to come full circle - Gandys now has a base for everyone to come and join us and share the journey.
Rob and Paul plan to continue to improve the lives of the community members in the area who were also impacted by the Boxing Day Tsunami. Today, their journey continues to become evermore adventurous through the release of new products where their experience as travellers is reflected.
They pride themselves on honouring their parents' legacy and are hard at work to create a fashion destination for travellers of the world. In addition to creating quality products for adventurers like themselves, they are seriously committed to continue to build as many children's homes around the world as they can.
Keep supporting them on the journey to helping underprivileged kids through their adventure range. Follow their journey to becoming the leading fashion destination for explorers alike!