In addition to giving a pair for purchasing a pair, Toms customers can instead choose from one of five different causes to support

Upon its launch in 2006, shoe company Toms debuted and made popular the buy-one-give-one model, exhibiting charitable action through giving away a pair of free shoes to someone in need for each pair a customer purchased. Now, the company is expanding its reach and offering customers the option to choose a cause they want to support.

The choices include supporting women’s rights or ending gun violence, and Toms will give a grant to a nonprofit working for that cause. “Over the last year and a half or so, we’ve really been reflecting on where might we have the greatest impact,” chief giving officer Amy Smith told Fast Company. “What is changing in the world around us?”

Although the company has seen success with its one-for-one model, it has received criticism for whether the model could potentially disturb local economies or create a dependency on support. Toms noted in a study it held that it didn’t see this negative community impact and has also worked with nonprofits for better integration. In addition, they continue to work on other proactive giving efforts and have inspired other companies to innovate within the same vein.

Toms


Lead image: stock photos from YONGJU KWON/Shutterstock

Upon its launch in 2006, shoe company Toms debuted and made popular the buy-one-give-one model, exhibiting charitable action through giving away a pair of free shoes to someone in need for each pair a customer purchased. Now, the company is expanding its reach and offering customers the option to choose a cause they want to support.

The choices include supporting women’s rights or ending gun violence, and Toms will give a grant to a nonprofit working for that cause. “Over the last year and a half or so, we’ve really been reflecting on where might we have the greatest impact,” chief giving officer Amy Smith told Fast Company. “What is changing in the world around us?”