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Corporate Social Responsibility Spotlight: TOMS Shoes, Inc.

Founded in 2006, TOMS Shoes, Inc. has maintained a simple, "One for One" business model... They sell a pair of shoes, they give a pair to a child in need. Corporate social responsibility is at the core of their organization.

I recently bought my first pair of TOMS after learing that the designers of a pair of shoes that I currently own, had allegedly "copied" the shoe design and business model from TOMS Shoes. Since I had already purchased and worn the "non-TOMS" (which were admittedly quite comfortable), I thought it only appropriate to purchase a pair of the real TOMS as well.

As expected, I was quite happy with my TOMS purchase and although they say that imitation is the best form of flattery, I do not condone ripping off and selling copycat versions of another company's products. I did however, find it interesting that the company not only copied TOMS shoe design, but also copied their "One for One" business model. In fact, a friend confirmed that she had personally handed out the "non-TOMS" to children during a recent mission trip to Jamaica.

TOMS Shoes, Inc. has been recognized by various organizations for their dedication to corporate social responsibility. Not only do they match shoes sold with shoes given to children in need worldwide, they also help to give sight to people in need with the sale of their TOMS eyewear...One for One. Most recently, TOMS has The company has:

  • given 10 million shoes to children in need

  • given different types of shoes based on the terrain and seasons of the communities in need

  • helped to restore the sight of 150,000 people across 10 countries

  • provided prescription glasses, medical treatment, and sight-saving surgeries worldwide

  • supported sustainable community-based eye care programs through job creation, and basic eye care training

The TOMS organization has successfully built their brand around the belief that they can improve the lives of people all over the world through socially responsible, environmentally sustainable business practices. Plus, they continue to share their best practices at sustainability conferences and industry gatherings nationwide. At TOMS, "giving is in [their] DNA and will always be core to [their] work as a responsible company" (Toms Shoes, Inc., 2014)


Toms Shoes, Inc. (2014). Corporate responsibility at Toms. Retrieved from


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