The One for One shoe company that spawned a movement moves into eyewear
Travelling through Argentina in 2006, Blake Mycoskie witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes – and immediately came up with the concept of One for One brand TOMS; a sustainable, for-profit business that would, for every pair of shoes bought, also give a pair to a child in need.
"As of November 2011, TOMS has given over two million pairs of shoes to children in need through Giving Partners in over 30 countries around the world," Mycoskie tells Dazed of the company's impact. Now the success of his original model has led to expansion into eyewear and the same like-for-like concept embracing another human right: healthy sight. Whether through prescription glasses, sight-saving surgery or medical treatment, sharing has already begun in Nepal, Cambodia and Tibet.
As of November 2011, TOMS has given over two million pairs of shoes to children in need through Giving Partners in over 30 countries around the world
Hailing from Texas, Mycoskie is an entrepreneur banging the drum for giving within business and making philanthropy professional. Authoring a (New York Times bestselling) book, 'Start Something That Matters', he's keen to encourage (and acknowledge) others in this mould too, hopeful of a future occupied by social-minded business and consumers.
The caveat? TOMS goods must have their own merit for the whole project to work – they need to sell in the first place – so appeal and endurance (quality) is crucial. A Made-in-Italy riff on classic eyewear with a handpainted, contrasting-colour tip isn't a style compromise for others' salvation. "There will be other One for One products," Mycoskie reveals of his next step. "We just don't know when and what they will be yet."