TOMS Shoes: One For One
If you take a look at TOMS Shoes, you will probably say, “those are nice, but they are not really ‘me’.” That’s what I said. They are not particularly feminine – they almost look frumpy. But the shoes come in a tremendous variety of colors and patterns, they are inexpensive (about $50 a pair), and incredibly comfortable. Soft canvas and a supportive insole make them quick to slip on and perfect for errands or a whole day shopping. But there is one more thing about the shoes that makes them my new favorite pair.
For every shoe purchased from TOMS, one pair will be given to a child in need. As their motto says, “One For One.” Not “10 cents” or “A portion of proceeds” will go to someone in need. You buy one pair of shoes, a child in a developing country gets a pair of shoes. But why shoes? I mean, besides the fact that everyone loves shoes. There are two reasons. First, in order to attend school, children must wear shoes. Second, in developing countries, walking is the main mode of transportation. A sturdy pair of shoes prevents cuts, sores, and other injuries that lead to infection, disease, amputation, and death.
TOMS Shoes are manufactured in Argentina, China, and Ethiopia – the same places that get the donated shoes – in ethical factories that pay fair wages and observe humane labor laws. Factories are regularly inspected by local labor boards, TOMS staff, and third-party auditors. You can even arrange to go with TOMS staff to make shoe “drops” in developing countries. With somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 different colors, fabrics, and styles – ranging from glitter to tie-dye to solids; boots to booties to fleece-lined slippers – there is something for everyone.