TOMS Shoes, which has helped provide shoes for children in need around the worldwide with its One for One® model, helped spearhead the burgeoning movement of social entrepreneurs creating similar business models based on addressing a problem while making a profit.
But instead of admonishing or suing his growing contingent of imitators, TOMS founder and chief shoe giver Blake Mycoskie has applauded them, and now has taken his support one step further with the launch today of the new TOMS Marketplace.
“For the past few years, I have been humbled by the number of social entrepreneurs who have been inspired by the TOMS business model,” Mycoskie said. “In fact, it wasn't too long ago that I found myself in a similar position. So I thought, 'What can we do to help support these companies?' The TOMS Marketplace is the result."
The Marketplace features a curated collection of 200 socially conscious products from 30 different companies, each with a meaningful story and an ethos and commitment matching TOMS’ to giving to those in need, spanning a wide range of causes and geographic areas of impact.
The TOMS Marketplace mostly showcases early-stage companies and their causes, each of whom were thoroughly vetted by TOMS' Giving department to ensure their ability to deliver on their mission statements. Products range from accessories, apparel and bags to home goods, jewelry, sports equipment, tech and more from socially conscious companies including The Honest Company (co-founded by Jessica Alba), and SB favorites One World Futbol Project, Sword & Plough and Yellow Leaf Hammocks. See the full list of companies here.
"We're so excited to utilize, share and leverage TOMS' platforms, our resources and our marketing to assist our Marketplace partners to help give to those in need," added Mycoskie. "We believe our customers — and even those who aren't necessarily customers — trust the TOMS brand and what we stand for. They are coming to our website because they want to buy or give a gift that gives back, and with the TOMS Marketplace, they will have a much greater selection of choices, all in one place."
TOMS recently announced that through its Giving Partners it has hand-placed over 10 million pairs of new shoes on children in need, and with TOMS Eyewear has helped give sight to more than 175,000 people around the world. The success of TOMS' One for One® model has led to a continued evolution of its Giving efforts, with the company now making major investments in its shoe manufacturing, economic empowerment, commissioned field research and product partnerships that have raised millions of dollars for non-profit organizations.