TOMS Announces It Has Given 10 Million Pairs Of New Shoes To Children In Need And Has Helped Restore Sight For 150,000 People Around The World
- TOMS has made major investments in its Giving model and operations.
The company brought on a Chief Giving Officer, Sebastian Fries, and has built a team of more than 20 individuals dedicated to every aspect of its giving operations, including strategic planning, logistical support, program development and impact measurement. The TOMS Giving team is comprised of individuals with significant experience in public health and at non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
As part of this evolution, humanitarian organizations are a now a cornerstone of the overall Giving strategy. TOMS works with more than 75 Giving Partners to integrate new shoes into their larger development goals. The company has also made improvements to the canvas shoes it gives and has also developed new giving pairs tailored for local needs, including winter boots and sport shoes.
- TOMS is producing new Giving shoes in the regions in which it gives.
The company currently makes its Giving pairs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Argentina and China. Within two years, its will produce one-third of its Giving shoes in the regions where it gives. By producing more shoes locally, TOMS will create and support jobs in places where they are needed. The company is testing production in India and is also looking to expand manufacturing in Africa and other regions.
In Haiti, TOMS is in the early stages of local shoe production. It has also partnered with local artists to create a line of hand-painted shoes, creating and supporting jobs in communities in which it gives. The company will soon be offering more styles of shoes that feature locally produced textiles.
- TOMS has commissioned and/or funded several research initiatives to better understand the impact of its shoe-giving program.
The core objective is for the company to learn from its impact assessments and improve its giving programs on the ground. Key positive impacts TOMS is investigating in El Salvador, Zanzibar, Malawi and Ethiopia are shoes' direct affect on a child's health; ability to access education; and overall well-being. In addition to understanding shoes' direct impact, TOMS is investigating how integrating shoe giving into its Giving Partners' ongoing programs can enhance their programs' efficacy. TOMS is also investigating how its shoe-giving's programs may affect the local economy to ensure responsible giving.
In Ethiopia, TOMS' work in the field has also inspired the company to make significant contributions to helping end podoconiosis, a painful and stigmatizing form of elephantiasis that afflicts millions of people who live and work barefoot in silica-rich volcanic soil. TOMS gives new shoes to children to prevent the next generation from getting the disease, and has invested in research, mapping, expansion of treatment programs and clinics, community education, patient rehabilitation and advocacy.
- Through its product partnerships, TOMS has provided financial support to other organizations that also give to people in need.
Above and beyond the new shoes that TOMS gives and the eyesight it helps save and restore, its product partnerships enable the company to give even more. Some of the non-profits that have been funded through these collaborations include Ben Affleck's EasternCongo Initiative (ECI), Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP), Save the Waves, charity:water and Movember, among others.