5 things we learned from TOMS
TOMS is short for tomorrow's shoes project
"While traveling in Argentina in 2006, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie saw the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair of shoes for a child in need. It was called one for one. What started as a very simple idea has evolved into a powerful business model. For every pair of shoes someone buys, a child in need receives a pair of shoes tomorrow."
It's most recognisable product is the Alpargata
"The alpargata is a traditional Argentinian shoe. It's been around for hundreds of years and is worn by locals and farmers. When our founder – Blake Mycoskie - travelled to Argentina and saw the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes, he thought it would be the perfect product to bring to the US market."
The buy-one, give-one away strategy, is the key to its success
"To those who say the charitable model is bad for the bottom line, I completely disagree. Our strategy is the biggest reason for our commercial success. Sharing our story enables us to be more effective at selling our shoes, which in turn enables us to give more shoes to those who need them. This cycle is at the very foundation of TOMS and is key to our success in future.
Having purpose is good for business
"We wouldn't be anywhere without our customers, and so our purpose must resonate with those customers. I believe doinggood in the world leads to a deep, emotional connection with those customers, which translates into success."
It doesn't just sell shoes
"Realising the concept of one-for-one could serve other basic needs, TOMS has now launched other projects including eyewear, bags, and a backpack collection. In keeping with the company's promise, purchases of these products also help improve the lives of people in need. Helping to restore sight, for example. And providing safe water."