No use hiding the fact: I love shoes. Shoe shopping gives me an instant boost. And that boost is… well, boosted… when the shoes I buy make life a bit better for someone else. That’s why I’m fanatically fond of TOMS shoes. They’re cute. They’re comfy. And the company’s social mission is simply spectacular.
In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie was dismayed to find that so many children in Argentina have no shoes to protect their feet. This isn’t just a health risk. Many schools require shoes as part of their uniform; kids that can’t attend school can’t hope to fulfill their potential. Wanting to help, Mycoskie created TOMS, a company that would give a pair of new shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes the company sold. Later that year, he returned to Argentina with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers. Today, TOMS provides shoes to children in over 20 countries worldwide and is continually expanding. With the help of its Giving Partners (humanitarian organizations with deep experience and a long-term presence in the countries and communities they serve), children in need of shoes are identified, measured, provided with shoes, and checked on a regular basis as their feet – and needs – continue to grow.
Fashionistas who found the original TOMS styles to be a bit too “earthy” became die-hard fans last spring with the debut of a white crocheted espadrille; the style quickly sold out. For Fall 2011, look for equally on-trend English herringbone and metallic tweed styles. I’ve bought both… and am walking on cloud nine, knowing my purchases are helping someone else walk a little easier. Check out: www.toms.com.