Chance are, 5 out of 10 of you reading this already own a pair of Toms Shoes. Ok, I don’t really know, I’m just guessing. In New York, it seems like everyone had on a pair of the classic Toms as soon as the weather was a degree over 50. If you don’t know the concept of Toms Shoes is, allow me to enlighten you. Toms Shoes was a movement created by a guy named Blake Mycoskie whose concept is “with every pair (of shoes) you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.” Read more about the movement (they preferred to be called that than a company) here.
He called this idea One for One™. Simple concept, huge impact. I know, brilliant.
As of September 2010, Toms Shoes has donated over 1 million shoes to children in need. I’ve always been inspired by this entrepreneurial business model and kept it as an example to guide my own business. I have yet to come up with the idea to radically change the world but I think I’m getting closer. In the meantime, Blake has taken his idea from literally toe to head. The company has recently launched the same concept but for eyewear, “with every pair (of eyeglasses) you purchase, TOMS will help give sight to a person in need.”
This comes at a great time for me because I’m in the market for a new pair of eyeglasses. I have to double check, but I think that Toms sells only sunglasses for now but provides prescription eyeglasses for those in need. That’s fine by me, I can just pop out the lenses and swap them out for my needs. So if you are in the market for shoes or eyeglasses, shop Toms first before you consider buying anywhere else. If you shopping does take you elsewhere, Toms has amazing volunteer programs where you can host a “sole” party, you can participate in Toms’ annual “Day Without Shoes” event where you toss your shoes for a day so that children around the world can have shoes. That’s what I call responsible shopping.