One For One
TOMS is a shoe company with a purpose. For every pair of shoes you purchase, you also put a pair of new shoes onto a child in need.
It isn’t very often that buying a cute new pair of shoes will help anyone other than yourself but now it can! TOMS has a wide variety of colors and now has more than a single style to offer. My favorites are the silver glitters and the vegan wrap boots. Both are super stylish while enabling me to help others.
As it turns out, there is no “Tom”. The founder’s name is actually Blake Mycoskie and he started his company back in 2006. He began by calling it “Shoes for Tomorrow Project”, and later “Tomorrows Shoes” because the company’s focus is on making a better tomorrow for people without shoes. The catch is that “Tomorrow” wouldn’t fit on the tag, so it got shortened to TOMS. Blake got the company going after he took a trip to Argentina and witnessed first hand that there were so many people’s lives being affected by the lack of shoes on their feet.
Since getting started, Blake has given away over 400,000 pairs of shoes to children in need and has no plans to slow that spirit of giving down anytime soon. These shoes help prevent infection from cuts and scrapes on the feet. In addition, they protect people from parasites such as hookworms that enter through the sole of the bare foot. Shoes can even prevent disfiguring and debilitating diseases caused by walking on certain soil, such as volcanic soil.
The inspiration for the shoes’ style is based off an Argentinean shoe called an Alpargata. Normally that kind of shoe would have a rope sole on them; however, Blake made some improvements with a rubber sole and arch support to make them not only comfortable and supportive, but also long lasting.
Blake, who carries the self-title of “Chief Shoe Giver” at TOMS, has taken his personal mission in life and turned it into a company cause. I think that the rest of us can really take inspiration from him and better our daily lives by helping others. Lets all get a pair!
The following video was made for “A Day Without Shoes” for 2009. The day is April 8th each year so unfortunately I already missed it this year, but this video was powerful to me and I had to share it. Maybe next year we can all run around barefoot for the cause!
This video shows what happens on the shoe drop to Argentina back in 2006. It’s a touching video that made me smile, so I thought I should share this one too.