As Kelsey Timmerman puts it, “step #1 is getting people to give a shit.” (Author of Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes).
TOMS may be the most successful social enterprise lifestyle brand today. Its message about doing good has become a mainstream movement that resonates across countries, different incomes and people.
There's another company doing wonderful business with 'lifestyle" stuff - whogivesacrap - who give half their profits from selling toilet paper to providing clean water; I'll blog them soon. They're 'saving the world one bum at a time"; I use it and their service and pricing is excellent.
TOMS is well known for their positive effect on social change through their One for One charity model.
One for One was created by founder Blake Mycoskie after seeing children growing up without shoes, during his travels to Argentina in 2006. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that matches every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair of shoes for a child in need. One for One®.
TOMS Eyewear was launched next in 2011, providing 13 countries with prescription glasses, medical treatment and sight-saving surgery with each purchase of eyewear resulting in helping restore sight to over 360,000 people.
TOMS Roasting Co. then followed, launching in 2014, aiming to help provide over 250,000 weeks of safe water in 6 countries. With each purchase of TOMS Roasting Co. Coffee, associated Giving Partners provide 140 litres of safe water (a one week supply) to a person in need.
Then in 2015, TOMS Bag Collection launched in 4 countries with 3 Giving Partners to help address the need for advancements in maternal health. Purchases of TOMS Bags help Giving Partners provide training for skilled birth attendants and distribute birth kits containing items that help a woman safely deliver her baby.
What began as a simple idea for TOMS has now evolved into a powerful business model that helps address need and advance health, education and economic opportunity for children and their communities around the world.
I’m a shoe lover. I agree with a friend (Paul) who says, “Shoes never lie.” A friend (Katherine) wore a pair of TOMS shoes yesterday and they told the truth and Katherine wrote the first draft of this blog as it was her story.