When TOMS was created more than a decade ago, founder Blake Mycoskie had a lofty goal in mind: for every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS would donate a pair to a child in need. The innovative business model was dubbed "One for One".
Over the past 12 years, TOMS has provided more than 60 million pairs of shoes to needy children, and has expanded to provide several other vital services to the less fortunate across the globe.
The initial shoe design for TOMS was the alpargatas, a canvas slip-on shoe that Mycoskie wore while traveling in Argentina. It was during that trip that Mycoskie witnessed countless children who were running through the streets without the benefit of footwear.
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While the alpargatas are still a staple of TOMS shoes, the collection now includes men's slip ons, sneakers, boat shoes, and dress shoes. Additionally, women's styles consist of boots, espadrilles, flats, heels, platforms, sandals, wedges, wedding and vegan. The kids' selection includes youth, tiny and baby shoes.
These shoes aim to blend style and comfort, and offer a wide range of colors, as well as fabrics like leather, canvas, twill and waterproof.
In 2011, TOMS launched its line of eyewear, maintaining the same objective of helping those in need. Since that time, 400,000 people have received prescription glasses, medical treatment or sight-saving surgery as a result of corresponding purchases.
The men's and women's sunglasses offer a wide variety of prices and are inspired by vintage styles, including heart, oval, round and square face shapes for men, while women's choices consist of polarized, oversized, cat-eye, round, square, and pilot.
Three years later, TOMS added coffee to its operations. TOMS Roasting Co. sources its beans from regions all across the world. For each purchase of the coffee, TOMS donates 140 liters of safe water, which equates to one week's supply, to a person in need. Since 2014, more than 450,000 weeks of safe water have been provided.
The coffee is available for purchase at select Whole Foods locations, as well as at four TOMS store locations throughout the United States.
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Lastly, the company added TOMS Bag Collections, with purchases resulting in safe birth services. Those services include training for skilled birth attendants, as well as the distribution of birth kits.
To this day, TOMS continues to address needs and advance health, education and economic opportunities around the world.
Yes, they're product driven, and the brand speaks volumes with its eclectic selection and forward design, but the forward thinking and how they view the world can't be overlooked as it is driven in company positivity.
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