TOMS Shoes & the “One for One” movement
If you live in California, you’ve probably seen people wearing TOMS’s alpargata style shoes with the Argentine-flag-inspired “TOMS” logo adorning the back. Buy a pair and another pair is donated to a shoeless child. Simple. Don’t be surprised when these shoes begin to pop up on the feet of the young and stylish near (and very far from) you.
A of this writing, TOMS has expanded to sell a bunch of different products in addition to shoes; eyewear, merchandise, stickers. However, the company will always be known for their iconic alpargata shoe launched into the hip LA market around 2006. The shoe is simple, an upper made of a soft fabric matched with a rubber sole and an arch insert for support.
TOMS are casual, fun, and most importantly, make a statement. As brilliant as its design is, TOMS offers something even more attractive for wearer – a badge of pride having contributed something good to the world.
It is nearly impossible to talk about the TOMS product without talking about the cause they support and by that measure, TOMS has been incredibly effective at binding their product with their “One for One” mission. They have staked their financial future on the success of their social cause and boy have they been rewarded.
In TOMS’s first “Giving Report,” (download PDF) they answer the critical questions: Why shoes and why shoelessness?
In many developing nations, children must walk as their main mode of transportation through rough terrain. Shoes are a resource that will be used, and used often.
Education and A Better Tomorrow
Shoes are often required in many school and has proven to increase attendance. Along with the health benefits, this means a better future for these children and their communities.
TOMS’s “One for One” movement has donated over 1,000,000 pairs of new shoes to children in need around the world with more donations in the pipeline.1 They have partnered with local organizations to not only identify communities which need shoes, but continue to give children shoes as they grow. A long-lasting impact gets extra kudos here at CraveGood!
TOMS has integrated their customers into their movement like no other company has before. Along with its “One Day Without Shoes” awareness campaign where people are encouraged to go shoeless for a day, TOMS is currently selecting one customer every week to follow their purchase around the world on a TOMS Giving Trip. Here’s a video showing what it’s like being on a “Shoe Drop:”
Beautiful marketing, but also just excellent work creating real change.
- Buy a pair of TOMS for yourself (and a shoeless child) (Approx. $54)
- Start a TOMS campus program
- Find an internship at TOMS (in Los Angeles, California)
- Join the “One Day Without Shoes” day of awareness
I just have to include a video by Matisyahu promoting “One Day Without Shoes:”
Full disclosure: I was an intern at TOMS Shoes when they were first starting out. I am not currently affiliated in any way with the company. Maybe I’ll write a piece about my experience there, someday.