Remember the post I wrote a while back on questioning consumption? TOMS Shoes (Not Tom’s) is a fairly new company that has conscientious consumerism at its heart. I wish I had heard about this several weeks ago, but better late than never, right? Toms Shoes (that refers to Shoes for Tomorrow) was founded in an effort to provide shoes to children in Argentina who did not have any shoes. Soon, they were sharing shoes with kids in South Africa too. Now Toms Shoes is giving shoes to kids in Ethiopa. If you are not too sure why this is a big deal, just pause for a minute and think about what it would be like to not have any shoes. Not only what level of poverty that is, but also the practical implications of that (think cold or hot streets laden with dirt, parasites, sharp objects, and who knows what else). So, for every pair of Toms shoes you buy, a pair of shoes will be given to a child in Argentina, South Africa, or Ethiopia. You can read more about it here.
I also checked into the environmental sustainability factor of these shoes, and I’m quite impressed. The canvas shoes are made from a mix of organic cotton and recycled plastics, and some of their shoes are even vegan-friendly. This is an area they are trying to work on even more as well.
Want to know more? Besides checking out their website, you can listen to or read a great interview with Founder and CEO of Toms, Blake Mycoskie. Here is Part One, and here is Part Two of the interview.
And if you want to buy a pair (actually two, one for you and one for a child who needs a pair of shoes), Toms offers free shipping to the US and Canada (how great is that?!). But if you are just a shoe junkie, I might add that a little restriction is never a bad thing and you can always just help buy two pairs of shoes for kids who don’t have them rather than the thirtieth pair of the year for yourself :o) (Not that any of you, dear readers, would fall into this category!)
Here’s the pair I’m considering. (I do not have thirty pairs of shoes…or anything close to that number!)
Both of the images were taken from the Toms Website.