The idea for C4 was born above the bustling streets of Shanghai, where 4 American friends shared a small apartment. Discouraged by the U.S. recession, these friends had decided to put their college Chinese classes to use by moving to China and diving straight into the culture. At heart, all 4 shared a thirst for adventure, a thirst to immerse themselves in all things China, from the busy streets during the day to the booming clubs at night.
And all 4 shared a common problem: their belt selection seriously cramped their style. As easy as it was for them to find a killer watch or the perfect kicks for their trips to the local market or the raging clubs, they always had to compromise with a boring leather belt. Leather that was ruined by rain. Leather that stretched if a bigger friend “borrowed” it. And worst of all: leather that reminded them of their parents. So the 4 friends start trading ideas about how to make belts better. More exciting. Somehow cool. They look to fashion, to music, to all things fresh and clean, for inspiration. Little do they know the answer to their boring belt problem is something they already own: their watches. The 4 roommates realize they all own watches with flexible bands, made from a recyclable material known as TPE plastic. They realize they never have a problem with their watch bands stretching, or being ruined by rain, or reminding them of their semi-retired parents.
So they begin initial research. The research only leads them to crude versions of a plastic belt, but nothing close to their vision of sleek TPE plastic belts. Knowing they can improve on these crude versions, they set off on a journey to the heart of China to turn their vision into a reality. 4 one-way tickets later, they stumble upon a small factory in the Chinese countryside. The owner—a small, progressive man with caffeine for blood—offers them the freedom necessary to bring their vision to life. They sign a deal with him for a few hundred prototypes and the prospect of future visits.
And with those prototypes in hand, the 4 friends return to the U.S. and shut themselves off to cultivate their vision.
For 2 months they talked, sketched, argued, erased and poured all of their energy into what would become C4. At times they came close to giving up, thinking the belt world was too dry, too stuck in its ways, for such a bold concept as C4. Yet they stuck with it, and their perseverance paid off. Because when they finally threw open the doors, they unleashed something huge: a complete revolution in the belt industry. A revolution that gives each individual almost unlimited freedom to dress as they want, while at the same time allowing the individual to give back to the world around them. And so we’ve come to uncharted territory. But for the 4 friends who've always loved adventure, this is where the fun begins. C4 is leading the charge into a brave new world where individualism in style and elevated social consciousness unite.
Join the revolution.