The most visible of many do-good clothiers and shoemakers that promise donations to struggling countries around the world, TOMS often comes under fire for its one-for-one business model.
For every pair of shoes it sells, TOMS gives away another pair to someone in need. Some critics have called this a marketing ploy, one that makes millions by í¯®etizing white guiltà¡®d preying on rich, Western consumers who simply want to find a way to feel better about themselves.
Others say such a model lacks any real payoff for the people it aims to help because it only treats the symptoms of deep-seated poverty. In some cases, they say, TOMS undermines the local economies in the 50 countries where it gives away shoes by destroying existing footwear industries.
TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie admits he hasnä §otten everything right from the get-go, but he doesnä ´hink his company should be expected to provide a panacea for poverty. He stressed that in the end, TOMS is a business, though itã ¡ business that also seeks to give back.
à¥¯ple put us on this pedestal that weâ¥ some holier-than-thou company,Í¹coskie said in an interview with The Huffington Post this week. âµ´ weâ¥ not.í
TOMS customers donä ´hink theyâ¥ ã¨¡nging the worldà³©mply by purchasing a pair of $55 shoes, Mycoskie said. They appreciate that the company isnä «eeping all its profits and instead uses that money to help those who need it most.
é ¤idnä £ome out thinking, è¥¹ weâ¥ going to solve the worldã °roblems,à¨¥ said. ç¥¡å ¦ocused on helping people that needed something that we can provide.ì¯°>