Product, Service & Design Innovation
This year, TOMS' One Day Without Shoes Campaign Allows You to Donate Shoes for Free

With the rise of brands such as Warby Parker, Soapbox Soaps, Plum Organics and Bombas Socks, the one-for-one giving model has become a popular way for companies to easily tie social impact to consumer product purchases and show just how easy it can be to support a worthy cause. Now, one of the pioneers of that movement, TOMS, is making it possible to donate without making a purchase.

For its annual One Day Without Shoes campaign, TOMS — which last year expanded its product line to include coffee — asks consumers to go barefoot to raise awareness for what it's like to live without shoes, and encouraging participants to share their experiences by posting photos of their bare feet on Instagram using the hashtag #withoutshoes. But this year — the eighth year of the campaign — for every barefoot photo uploaded using the hashtag between May 5 and May 21, TOMS will donate a new pair of shoes to a child in need (up to one million pairs).

While the annual campaign has already done much for raising awareness for the company and its cause, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie recently told Fashionista he wanted to give everyone — not just those who can afford to buy a pair of TOMS shoes — the opportunity to "do something good without having to buy."

"We'd rather spend our money doing more good rather than traditional advertising," Mycoskie said.

Another successful example of using social media to enable concerned citizens to make a difference without breaking the bank is Code REDD’s recent Stand for Trees campaign, which has engaged millions of people around the world to do their part to help reduce deforestation and curb climate change through the purchase of $10 carbon offset certificates. With the help of spokesperson Prince Ea, the campaign video received over 34 million views and spurred 8,770 transactions and offset 16,800+ tonnes of CO2 in the first two days.

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