TOMS "One for One" Movement Inspires the Industry

Editorial TeamEditorial Team
September 12th, 2022
3:13 PM

To date, the acclaimed shoe brand TOMS has donated more than 95 million pairs of shoes in over 83 countries.

In 2006, during a trip to Argentina, Founder Blake Mycoskie visited a camp where he met Nitti, a former polo player. During his stay in the country, the American witnessed the difficulties faced by some impoverished areas when he saw barefoot children with very limited resources. Spawning from a casual chat, the two new business partners decided to sell espadrilles, the typical footwear of the Argentinian gaucho, in the United States. As time went by, the brand developed new products that were also presented in the market under a solidarity slogan, "Tomorrow Shoes", or TOMS. In 2015, the investment fund Bain Capital bought 50 percent of the company for more than 300 million dollars. The Argentine co-founder, Alejo Nitti, chose to continue with new projects and ceased to be a partner, although he remains in contact with Mycoskie. With its headquarters in Santa Monica, California, the B Corp brand has donated more than 95 million pairs of new shoes in some 83 countries. It collaborates in 63 countries with different NGOs that have a long history in each community. The brand’s ethos is based on responsibility, ethical trade, and taking care and supervising all the parameters of the production.  

  All fabrics are manufactured in 23 countries, almost all of which are located in the third world, and it has four major production centres: one in Argentina, Ethiopia, China and Kenya. These centres are qualified by external companies which ensure that there are no children working and that the wages paid are fair. This allows these communities to prosper economically. TOMS is also a huge advocate for responsible sourcing and it sources 100% of its leather from gold and silver-rated Leather Working Group manufacturers, in addition to sourcing all wood-based material from Canopy certified sustainably managed forests. The shoe models are adapted to the type of population, environment and terrain that will be used. "The designs, above all, are very autochthonous, that is, they are developed in each of the communities, therefore, both the community in South America, in Argentina, etc, have a look or and certain designs, both there, as in India, makes them not homogeneous designs, which makes them surprising and unique designs, autochthonous to each of the communities," says Lourdes Comas. The materials used in the shoes and boxes are recyclable and certified, complying with the legal requirements of the countries where they are manufactured, and the manufacturing process is intended to generate sources of employment that have a positive impact on society. Blake Mycoskie's results in terms of social responsibility under a sustainable scheme have earned him numerous awards. This young entrepreneur, who prior to TOMS already had 4 other businesses, wrote a book called Start Something That Matters with the goal of motivating other entrepreneurs to implement a focused business model that helps others.   One for One Movement A business model based on the need to collaborate as the ultimate goal, and where sales are the means to achieve it. The “One for One” movement is not a resource that TOMS uses to sell its shoes, but the very idea of the company comes from this movement. For every pair of shoes sold, a pair is donated. As a business model based on selling to those who can buy, in order to donate to those who need but can't afford it, TOMS has managed to distribute 10,000 pairs thanks to the sales made in its first year.  

  The brand has already donated more than 95 million pairs donated in about 83 different countries through its collaboration with different humanitarian organizations working in the areas and knowing the needs of each place.