Anyone ever heard of TOMS? If you have, you’d probably agree that they’re pretty awesome. If you haven’t heard of them before, it’s a possibility that you’re thinking that I’m trying to plug a brand of shoes. In a way, I guess I kind of am but trust me they’re for a great cause. TOMS is a brand of shoes that might not look like anything special, to some you might think they look like peasant shoes, but for every pair bought a child in need receives a pair too. TOMS are designed based on a traditional Argentinean shoe called alpargata. Though they do remind some of a “peasant” shoe, TOMS are comfy and come in all different colors and designs. TOMS was founded by Texan Blake Mycoskie. For you Amazing Race fans, you might have seen him on season two of the Amazing Race. After stopping in Argentina for an episode of the show, he revisited Argentina and there got the idea to open a shoe company. He knew that for every pair he sold, he would also give a pair to “someone who needs them”. While in Argentina, Mycoskie took to wearing the local alpargata shoes. After seeing the many children without shoes, Mycoskie returned to the States and sold his online driver education company to open the shoe store. The business soon became “Shoes for Tomorrow Project”. The obvious question might be “Why shoes?”. The simples answer is a fungus called podoconiosis or “Mossy Foot”. Without going into a long history of the disease, Podoconiosis is a fungus that can slowly creep up and eventually destroy the lymphatic system. Because walking is the primary mode of transportation in third world countries, shoes are the best way to prevent disease. Over 300,00 pairs of shoes have been given to children in the U.S., Argentina, Ethiopia, and South Africa. Shoe have recently been sent to Haiti as well. TOMS are now being sold in some stores such as Nordstrom and Whole Foods, as well as the companies official website- www.toms shoes.com. TOMS is hoping to donate 1 million shoes by 2012 and is currently branching out into other projects as well. I have recently ordered my first pair of TOMS and have happily been telling all my friends and family about them. They are totally worth every penny! For more information visit the website and remember that with every pair you buy a child will also receive their first pair of shoes.
April 18, 2010