Aside from looking cool, buying a pair of TOMS can also make a difference in the world. Founder Blake Mycoskie has discovered a middle ground between earning profit and helping other people, with the TOMS One For One movement: “With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.”
The simple, yet stylish shoes have been popping up everywhere since the company’s creation in 2006, and the basic design and recognizable squared toe makes these shoes stand out in the everyday shuffle.
According to the TOMS website TOMS has provided over 400,000 children around the world with shoes. TOMS has also inspired other companies like Ralph Lauren and Element with the One For One movement. Recently TOMS was ranked #6 in the retail; category by Fast Company Online as one of 2010’s Most Innovative Companies.
When asked about TOMS shoes, student Chelsea Yeates replied “I saw [Blake] on a commercial. I thought it was kind of cool…sometimes I feel companies like that use guilt to make money is all. ‘You don’t want to donate a pair of shoes just by buying a pair?’ type of thing.”
“I love TOMS because not only are they comfortable and affordable, you know when you buy them that you are also helping someone else out there that without you wouldn’t have any shoes at all,” said student, Kelsey Koziar. “They are also super durable. I wore them the entire time I was in Africa.”
TOMS have been featured in the style section several magazines this Spring, such as Marie Claire, People, and Teen Vogue. The shoes come in a variety of colors, patterns, and fabrics, and also offer some vegan-friendly options. In addition to the basic slip-on shoe, TOMS also offers some lace-up and boot styles.
In order to raise awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a person, TOMS is encouraging a One Day Without Shoes event, taking place worldwide Thursday, April 8th. TOMS suggests that everyone go at least part of their day without shoes to experience what many have to go through every day.
For more information on One Day Without Shoes, or to find an event in your area, go to www.onedaywithoutshoes.com.