Toms shoes is a company that has built its brand around a core purpose and it’s concept of "One for One."
The company was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, who was inspired to start the company after a trip to Argentina where he saw children without shoes. Mycoskie realized that many of the health problems faced by these children were a result of not having proper footwear, and he decided to do something about it.
Their "One for One" concept is simple:
For every pair of shoes purchased, Toms donates a pair to a child in need.
This approach has been incredibly successful, and Toms has donated over 95 million pairs of shoes to children in need in over 70 countries around the world.
Toms Shoes don't just limit it’s purpose to their shoes either
As well as their distinctive shoe range they have expanded and have a line of fashionable glasses, a range of bags and most recently they've ventured into the Barista trade working with coffee from around the world.
They donate a portion of these profits from eyewear and coffee to various organizations that provide access to clean water, safe birth and cancer screenings. They also support various causes, such as mental health, education and LGBTQ rights and have partnered with organizations such as The Girl Project and Global Citizen to empower and uplift marginalized communities.
Toms has become a model for socially responsible business and has been recognized for its efforts by a number of organizations, including the B Corporation, a certification that recognizes companies that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance.
But what about their shoes?
Of course, focusing all this effort on purpose also means that the core things you sell need to be treated with the same effort of care and attention.
Toms shoes are designed with comfort and durability in mind, they use the latest technologies to make their shoes comfortable, light and easy to wear. They also offer a wide range of shoes that cater to different needs, such as shoes for children, classic shoes, and vegan shoes.
Toms ensures the quality and production are met by backing up their purpose by using environmentally friendly materials such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, and natural rubber in the production of its shoes. Additionally, Toms ensures that the leather they use is ethically sourced and that it meets strict standards for sustainability.
They also place a strong emphasis on fair labor practices to improve the lives of the people who make their products.. The company works with and audits a variety of factories around the world to ensure that workers are paid fair wages and treated with respect. Toms has implemented a number of initiatives to ensure that workers are not subjected to forced labor, discrimination, or unsafe working conditions.
Their impact on the planet
All this effort and work has helped many people across the world including:
Donating over 95 million pairs of shoes to children in need in over 70 countries around the world.
Protected over 2 million children from hookworm through the use of shoes and essential medication.
In Guatemala, their footwear distribution has even caused a 42% rise in maternal healthcare received by locals.
Their move towards eyecare helped restore sight for over 300,000 and they have provided cataract surgery for over 100,000 individuals.
"The goal isn't how much money you make, but how much you help people."
Toms are a great example of a brand that was born from its purpose of "One for One" and have used it as the key driving force without exception and it is clearly embedded through every area, person and decision in the business to ensure they make a real difference in the world.