Blake Mycoskie Talks a Decade in Toms

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Blake Mycoskie Talks a Decade in Toms 


Blake Mycoskie, who was inspired to create the globally recognized Toms shoes while volunteering in Argentina in 2006, has offered insight into the last decade with the brand. To begin with, Tom is not a person – rather, it is short for ‘tomorrow,’ as in “Sell a pair of shoes today and give away a pair tomorrow.”

The initial plan for the company was to provide a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold (which has resulted in about 60 million pairs of feet clad thus far) through a one-for-one promise. The company now also funds, in over 70 countries: sight-restoring procedures, eyeglasses or medical treatment; provides clean drinking water by creating sustainable water systems in the same regions and countries from which they source their coffee beans ; safe birth services for mothers; and funding to train against bullying in schools in the United States.

Sustainability and providing more than just a pair of shoes to aid these children are criticisms Mycoskie encountered along the way. “One is the criticism of, OK you are providing aid and if you are really serious about poverty alleviation, aid is not the only answer,” Mycoskie said in a recent interview, “and actually that criticism led us to change our supply chain to create the factory in Haiti, do the factory in India, do it in Kenya, Ethiopia, all these places.” This creates jobs in the same countries where the company gives, providing means of self-support as well as aid.

The Toms website also offers a “Transparency in Supply Chain” link, bringing the reader to a page outlining the company’s zero-tolerance policy towards slavery and human trafficking. This includes requiring its manufacturers and suppliers to comply with “TOMS’ Supplier Code of Conduct and TOMS’ Code of Business Practices,” and with the labor laws of the countries in which the operate.

The company currently sells sunglasses, bags, apparel, coffee beans and coffee accessories, as well as a the shoes that made the company, in a variety of styles and designs.


Blake Mycoskie Talks a Decade in Toms 

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Written by Lillie Peterson

Lillie is a graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's in Classics and a lifelong fascination for fashion and art. A freelance writer and artist, her hobbies include photography, design, drawing and blogging.

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