Feel-Good Fashion

Have you ever been in a store and there was a nice T-shirt you liked, but it was $10 more expensive and only $1.50 went to the charity it was linked to? TOMS shoes is the best example for this. People didn’t believe in Blake Mycoskie’s vision when they heard he wanted to give shoes away, for free.

He depends totally on the generosity of people.

How can you make a business on giving shoes away? Mycoskie, the creator of  TOMS shoes, thought of this genius idea when vacationing in Argentina when he met some social workers.

He was invited to see what they were up to and found that this group was giving shoes away, but they were used and noticed they did not fit properly. This is when the magic happened. He created this successful business because the matter was important to him.

It touched him so much that  later that year McCoskie returned to Argentina with friends, family and staff from TOMS and gave away 10, 000 pairs of shoes. It was only possible because of TOMS caring customers.

 Reed McCoy, a student at the University of Minnesota, bought a pair of TOMS shoes for himself, his mother and his little sisters.

Reed McCoy

Reed McCoy

He heard about TOMS shoes from someone who was wearing a pair and told him about the “One-For-One” movement. He was so touched, that he bought a pair for himself and his family. He got the brown suede leather patch Cordones and wears them with anything.

“I wear them with whatever, I want the leather Cordones–they look pretty fly. My style is not having style,” said McCoy. 

It’s true when they say young people are the ones who make the most difference. Not only did the youth participate at the Equal Rights March this month, but aren’t afraid to wear TOMS shoes as a statement.

Whether it’s a statement of being humble or advertising to get more people in the “One-For-One” movement. It was a refreshing feeling to know that people are taking action in helping others who are less fortunate, while staying trendy.

 This girl was proud enough to wear her shoes at a march for equality. Ironically,  Mycoskie, is aspiring equality in many other countries by giving away free shoes to people who cannot afford one.

According to TOMS website, this international movement has given away over 150, 000 shoes and plan to reach 300, 000 shoes by the end of 2009.

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In countries like Venezuela, it is hard to have a second pair of shoes do to so many circumstances. People walk without shoes disfiguring their feet and struggle with avoiding getting robbed for their new shoes in the city, Caracas. 

In a scene from the Venezuelan film, “Secuestro Express,” a boy gets his shoes stolen at gun point, showing how much a pair of shoes is valued in the slums of Caracas.   

TOMS offers internships to people who want to help Blake Mycoskie help other children.

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