The Brazilian economy came to a screeching halt due to a major political crisis caused by the car wash (lava-jato) scandal. The scandal involved the government of Brazil, bribes in the millions of dollars and Petrobras, a group of big construction companies. Despite the corruption showing no signs of being resolved anytime in the near future, Havaianas flip-flop has found itself in the middle of the scandal.
In May, an investment firm privately-owned by a family known as Batista was implicated in the bribery of about 1,900 politicians. This is what many believe caused the economic and political crisis that the country is facing today.
Corruption charges were brought up, leading to a $3.24 billion fine. The family had no choice but to sell 86-percent of their stake in Alpargatas, the company that makes Havaianas flip-flops, to pay part of the fine. $1.1 billion was offered by three Brazilian banks to purchase the stake.
Brazilian roots played a major role in shaping the concept and image of the brand that is Havaianas, which is beach-centric. Havaianas was the first brand to feature this type of design in Brazil that was based on the sandal Zori from Japan.
Not everyone is convinced that Havaianas played a part in the corruption scandal. And although the overall impact has been minimal, a couple of locals have resulted to boycotting offerings from J&F Investimentos company.
Thanks to the saving grace of the 3 banks, it seems the legendary flip-flop brand has a promising future away from the embarrassing scandal.