For-profit business model, with a non-profit attitude

With every pair of shoes sold, TOMS donates another pair of shoes to a person in need, while with every sunglasses sold the company helps its partners provide eye care by medical treatment, prescription glasses or sight-saving surgery.

While Blake Mycoskie was on a trip to Argentina he saw non-profit organizations working to help the children, but they were using old shoes some missing laces and some almost completely damaged. While at a polo match Blake noticed that the players wore a certain type of shoes, known as “alpargata”, and recognized them as a simple, yet revolutionary solution. He quickly set out to reinvent the alpargata for the U.S. market with a simple goal: to show how together, we can create a better tomorrow by taking compassionate action today.

During its first year in business, TOMS sold 10,000 pairs of shoes. Blake returned to Argentina later that year with family and friends and gave back to the children who had first inspired him. Thanks to supporters, TOMS gave the one millionth pair of new shoes to a child in need in September 2010.

TOMS now gives in over 20 countries and works with charitable partners in the field who incorporate shoes into their health, education, hygiene, and community development programs.

TOMS is operating according to its’ One for One&tm; approach – one person buys, and another one person is helped.  With so many different needs around the world, TOMS has charged itself with an obligation to try to improve as many lives as possible and responsibility of providing for the comfort of children in impoverished regions worldwide.

TOMS intends to expand its successful One for One model into other areas like housing, water and schoolbooks. It’s creating partnerships with companies so its customers can buy what they need while the same things are given to those who need them across the globe.

TOMS believes that healthy, educated children have a better chance of improving the future of their entire community. When more people are able to lead healthy, productive lives, entire communities have a chance at a better future.

Giving sustainably is important because TOMS are committed to creating the biggest impact possible with the shoes they give – improving children’s health and access to education – for the long-term.

Giving responsibly is what TOMS is all about. The company works with its Giving Partners to determine the size and quantities needed for the children they serve.


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