Review of Social Enterprise: TOMs Shoes

TOMS [Photo by savrae] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

TOMs Shoes Makes an Impact

TOMs Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie spends much of his time traveling on shoe drops in South America and Africa and giving speeches about his One for One Business model, where the company donates a pair of shoes to kids in need for every pair of shoes that is sold. Blake enjoys wearing organic and socially responsible clothing from brands like Edun, which he pairs with ethnic pieces he’s picked up at markets overseas.

While his image is not one of a traditional businessman, TOMs has attracted thousands of customers from around the world who believe in the company’s social enterprise concept. Celebrities too have joined the cause to raise awareness by spending a day without shoes. AOL employees like Arianna Huffington went barefoot, as did the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, Charlize Theron and Russian model Anna Vyalitsyna.

TOMs Shoes To Diversify Beyond Shoes

The runaway success of TOMs Shoes has led the five year old company to think outside the shoebox with plans to debut its first non-shoe product with the same buy-one-give-one business model. The goal is to make TOMs into more then just a shoe company, and Mycoskie is drumming up interest for the the campaign by using a “mystery box” to hide the new product which he wheeled around the Santa Monica Pier. The contents were revealed on June 7, and it was TOMS Eyewear – which still follows the One for One TOMS business model.

almost tall [Photo by jmogle] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

TOMs shoe sales show no sign of slowing down, and the company is also expanding beyond its classic canvas slip-on into other casual styles including sneakers, boots and wedges in a variety of textiles. They are even designing a wedding collection for the bride and groom who want to have a socially conscious wedding.