Shopping with a cause

The design of TOMS signature shoes is based on that of classic espadrilles, or alpargatas. In addition to an extensive shoe collection, TOMS also designs and sells eyewear. And there’s a twist – a really good one, too. For every pair of TOMS shoes sold another pair of shoes is given to an impoverished child, and part of the profit from every sold pair of eyewear goes towards saving or restoring the eyesight of people in developing countries. Mycoskie founded the company in 2006 after a vacation in Argentina, where he discovered that a lack of shoes was a problem of the poor.

Shoes, shades and coffee

In March 2014, the company added coffee to its portfolio. And it continues its charitable approach: The company invests in long-term water systems to help provide safe water to communities without it, and for each bag of coffee beans sold, TOMS promises to fund one week of clean water to people in need. To this end, the company collaborates with Water for People, a non-profit organisation that works to provide safe water to countries where TOMS sources its beans. According to Sportswear International, Amsterdam’s new TOMS shop is the first European outlet to include coffee in its range of products offered.