As women, we all search for reasons to shop. My shoes don’t quite match the shade of this dress in the light; these heels are a little too scandalous, I need a classy, low-key wedge; my jeans aren’t the right wash for the autumn look I’m going for…I could go on and on, as I’m sure you could too.
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TOMS – founded by Blake Mycoskie in 2006, is the original “ONE FOR ONE” company, giving to people in need around the world with each and every purchase made.
Now, if you’re anything like me, shopping is this great, euphoric experience that I thoroughly enjoy – waiting on the package to arrive in the mail, trying on my new buy, squealing in delight over the awesome find – until I look at my bank account statement or credit card, and terrible feeling of guilt sweeps over me. “I should be spending this money on my son or our house, or giving it to the humane society for all the little doggies without homes or…”
WELL, behold the idea of purchases that give back. The companies that focus on turning the profit from their products into something phenomenal, and sometimes life-saving. Behold my new (2 year old) obsession – seeking out these companies that I know once I type in my credit card number, I’m doing something fantastic for someone I don’t even know. My absolute favorite and first company to feature is undoubtedly a business you’ve heard of, and maybe even own something of theirs. Hopefully this will change the way you shop, just like it did for me!
TOMS – founded by Blake Mycoskie in 2006, is the original “ONE FOR ONE” company, giving to people in need around the world with each and every purchase made. They started with shoes, pledging to give one pair of shoes to an impoverished child in need of footwear with each pair of shoes bought. Since their start in 2006, TOMS journeyed into sunglasses (polarized, amazing styled sunglasses I may add)- dedicating to give the gift of sight to one person in need with every purchase of shades! Why bother with $100+ sunglasses that don’t do anything but keep your cash, when this business is constantly pouring the proceeds into people around the globe? People who need help, and let’s face it, most of us have all needed help at some time and would not be where we are right now if it wasn’t for someone helping us out. Speaking of lending a hand, what about sharing a cup of joe?
Just last year, TOMS ventured into coffee. And it’s FANTASTIC coffee if I do say so myself. This coffee does more than just warm you up and tantalize your taste buds with extra flavor, each bag gives a person in need of clean drinking water just that, for a whole year. So each morning when I wait for my cup of TOMS Rwanda coffee to brew, I take a minute to think about how someone in Rwanda may very well be drinking clean water thanks to the TOMS business model and dedication. Just recently they started TOMS Marketplace, with everything from clothing and jewelry to purses and makeup bags. That’s another entry – but I encourage you to check it all out at toms.com! Purchases you can justify (to yourself and your hubby) and feel fantastic about. Cheers to a new way of shopping!
*More about company
TOMS is a for-profit business, but their for-profit operates their non-profit, “Friends of TOMS”- where all the donations stem from. The company name [TOMS] is derived from the word “tomorrow,” and evolved from Blake’s original concept, “Shoes for Tomorrow Project.” He developed the idea of TOMS after visiting Argentina and seeing kids running around with no shoes – when all they needed to stay safe are the basic alpargatas; the shoes TOMS first became known for. The countries where free products have been sent include Argentina, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Rwanda, South Africa, and the United States.
This is the first in a series on Socially Responsible Companies by Meghan Van Bussum. The hope of this series is to bring a sense of goodwill and hope to those who just keep saying “what’s wrong with the world these days?” Through these companies [who you may or may not have heard of before], you will find there are still amazing people behind even more remarkable companies who are giving back to form a better world every day. The goal now is to give you a reason to change shopping habits into a shopping successes, supporting these go-getters who are creating jobs, supplying food, providing educations and more by creating everything from shoes and coffee to toys and hammocks!
Meghan Van Bussum is a news producer & reporter turned marketing maven. Throughout her career, she’s strived to figure out the story behind everything and make sure the story is told in the most pure form possible. Now, raising a two-year-old son, Meghan is trying to raise him in a world where he learns from an early start that not everyone lives the same life as him, and that he should always try to live in a way that gives back to the “little guys”, the “givers”, and ultimately makes our world a better place! Ergo, the “Socially Conscious Shopping” blog series.
Meghan hails from the North (oh hey Lebanon, PA!), but has made her home in sunny Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, FL with her son Noah, husband Matt, and two American Bulldog rescues, Samuel Adams & Kona. Football season is a family favorite; Notre Dame, Florida State & the New England Patriots, take over their home every Saturday & Sunday!