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Toms rejigs giving model

Published
Nov 25, 2019
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Toms, the shoe brand with a charitable backbone founded by Blake Mycoskie, is further changing its donation strategy, shifting away from its ’one-for-one’ giving model. 

Twitter @toms


As the name suggests, the ‘one-for-one’ model, conceived by Toms in 2006, gives one pair of shoes to a person in need for every pair of shoes purchased by a customer. In a 2019 impact report released by the company on November 20, Toms announced that it will now operate a new giving model, where it will put $1 into its charity fund for every $3 made from a sale. 

Now, the company will continue to give out shoes, use its eyewear sales to provide vision aid, and give out clean water as a product of its ‘Toms Roasting Co.’ coffee sales. In addition, the one-for-one model will still be used for select collections. 

“This report is a testament to everyone in the fiercely passionate Toms community,” said Amy Smith, Toms chief giving officer. “I hope our customers are as excited and proud as we are to look back and see the incredible power of their purchases over the years and the impact they have had on so many lives.”

The latest expansion of Toms’ giving model comes as the company continues to be the subject of bankruptcy rumors, as it struggles to pay down debt; five years after bringing in over $300 million in investment funds from the private-equity firm Bain Capital. Bain, which purchased a 50% stake in the company in 2014 at a $600 million valuation, is also reportedly considering selling the brand.  

Toms first began expanding its giving model in 2018; the year the company donated $5 million to organizations working to end gun violence. More recently, Toms further broadened its scope with the launch of the ’Stand for Tomorrow’ initiative in May, a program that allows customers to choose from a selection of causes and allow their purchase to contribute to it.

To date, Toms has donated over 95 million pairs of shoes, and plans to reach 100 million in 2020. 

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