The Problem With Toms Shoes

The problem isn't shoelessness, it's poverty.


Above: Toms founder Blake Mycoskie

Great article on OkayAfrica that tackles the problematic elements of the Toms Shoes phenomenon.  The writer, Thiat Makinwa, says:

Adopting the BOGO (Buy One, Give One) model, buying a pair of TOMS shoes not only means that you get a pair, but the amount the consumer pays purchases another pair for an impoverished child in a third world country who would otherwise be shoeless. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

 Poverty, or any issues that stem from it, is a complex situation – so why should the answer be so simple?  Free never comes without a fee, there’s always a price to be paid somewhere and TOMS’ BOGO model is no exception.

Read the full article here.  Also worth reading is the linked piece by Kelsey Timmerman, author of Where Am I Wearing, which goes further into the complexities.

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Rob Fields is the founder and publisher of Bold As Love Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @robfields.

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