TOMS a short form for (Tomorrow’s shoes) is an international company established in 2006, with approximately 469 employees which sells footwear and lifestyle brand committed to serving humanity thrive. With most of the Company's employees situated in America and the rest based around Europe and Asia, their manufactures are sited mostly in China and Vietnam. The company’s slogan is set as One for One,” meaning that for every pair of shoes bought, TOMS donates another pair to a child in need”. This whole journey began, when the founder Blake Mycoskie was travelling in Argentina around the year 2006 when he witnessed the hardships faced by the children, who were growing up without shoes.
From the first day, TOMS has been dedicated to using business to improve lives in general and end all forms of forced labor like bonded labor , prison labor, indentured labor, human trafficking etc. TOMS mission One for One, has resulted in the donation of millions of shoes to children in need. Profits are further used to assist the visually-impaired by building vision centers which provides medical treatments and prescription glasses. They also build businesses in developing countries to create more job opportunities and sustainable water systems are given to communities who are in need of them. The company also supports anti- bullying agencies by working with various non-governmental organizations and non-profits to set examples of ethical behavior.
Over 94,000,000 lives has been impacted as of today, as TOMS has helped give over 93 million new pairs of shoes, 770,000 sight restorations, 730,000 weeks of safe water and committed over $6.5 Million in impact grants. They also work with their partners on how they can constantly add values to both individuals and communities by largely focusing on homelessness, mental health, ending gun violence, women’s right and equality.
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Not my thought, I have read it somewhere but I find the point being worth to share: TOMS by donating shoes to children in need prevent those communities to develop their own shoe business. Donation creates need for a next donation (there is no progress) and secures TOMS market position as no competitor business can emerge when TOMS is occupying the market with its free products. A practice like this might be similar to something they call "dumping" in international trade.
I do not agree 100% with this critiques but indeed, I do not see the progress which way a donated shoe itself will prevent the need for another donated shoe in one year when the kid grows it out? Instead of giving away 93 million new pair of shoes they may consider to move manufacturing (and later design) to the supported communities elevating families' quality of life with job opportunities (+education, infrastructure, community development) bringing them to a position to be able to buy a shoe (including TOMS shoes) and from the profit they can move to the next community where children do not have shoes (so there is an obvious market need) and elevate those communities the same way by investing into them.