Everywhere you look someone is wearing a Lokai bracelet and they’ve just teamed up with Susan G. Komen to create a pink bracelet for Breast Cancer Awareness Month which starts today! They’ve already raised over $400,000 and plan to donate $1 million during the month of October but they need your help!
Everyone is loving Lokai! The trendy bracelets, which represent the highest and lowest points on planet earth: Mt. Everest and the Dead Sea, have taken the world by storm. As of Oct. 1 they’ve already broken 1 million Instagram followers and they’re becoming not only a fashion statement for men and women, but they are changing communities with their founding mission — giving back. From Justin Bieber to Gigi Hadid, Hollywood’s top celebrities are sporting the Lokai bracelets, so we wanted to meet the man behind the genius idea! HollywoodLife.com caught up with founder Steven Izen, 24, and he told us why Lokai is becoming more than a bracelet and an actual way of life for its devoted followers to #livelokai.
How did you come up with this idea for Lokai? “I came up with the idea five years ago while I was on vacation with my family and friends and was thinking about how lucky I was to be there. I was on the beach, I had just finished my freshman year at Cornell, life was great. That week my grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he lived around the corner from me. He was one of my best friends — he taught me how to play pool, play golf and it was the first time in my life that I was faced with something that really brought me to a low. I was thinking about the highs and lowest points on the planet, Mount Everest and the Dead Sea and it got me thinking about how I could incorporate those elements into a physical manifestation of the feeling I had that day.
What’s inside the bracelets? “Injected in the black ball is mud from the Dead Sea and injected in the white ball is water from Mt. Everest, as those are the highest and lowest points on earth.”
Why did you partner with Susan G. Komen to create a Breast Cancer bracelet? “When I was young one of my friend’s moms was diagnosed with breast cancer and I saw the tough time he went through and that always stuck with me. I think they are a great organization that is making a dent in a global issue and that’s something we look for in the partners we work with and we felt we had a like-minded belief. Our first limited edition lokai was blue for Charity Water and we were able to build 30 wells in Ethiopia. Then we did the ‘Wild’ with the WWF and donated over $250,000 to the cause. Today, we launched the pink lokai, partnered with Susan G. Komen. We have guaranteed a donation of $250,000 but we already raised over $400,000 and now the goal is to donate one million to them in October. #Lokaihero.”
What does the name mean? “Lokahi in Hawaiian means unity and to blend opposites. I loved that word and decided to change the spelling a little bit to make it our own.”
Why do you think it has become such a social media phenomenon? “The message is so universal and applies to so many types of people, whether it’s young kids, an older generation, it’s very global and can apply to anyone no matter what language you speak. Because social media is a global platform, we’ve been able to reach a lot of people very quickly. We have sold to people in over 160 different countries around the world and I think what’s cool about the social media side is that Lokai is not just a bracelet: it’s a lifestyle and mentality. When people are traveling, they feel like it’s part of them and that’s why they want to incorporate it in their pictures and tell their story and spread the message. It’s been a ripple effect over the past year and that’s how we’ve grown so fast.”
What’s the charity aspect? “Giving back has always been a big part of Lokai. The classic, we give back 10% of the net profits. With that, after the earthquake in Nepal we are able to quickly give over $100,000 to the Red Cross relief efforts. What we have been doing recently is limited edition colors, partnering with different charities and really getting our community to rally around that specific initiative and make a direct impact.”
HollywoodLifers, for more on lokai and to buy the pink limited edition bracelet, click here!
— Chloe Melas