I got a pair of TOMS shoes in the mail last week (thanks Mom). They’re super comfortable, and I got them in this snazzy gold herringbone pattern:
I know there are issues with give-away philanthropy, so I did a little digging to see how sustainable TOMS Shoes really are. Putting aside TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie‘s accidental speech to the anti-gay Christian group Focus on the Family in June, there are several fundamental problems with the way TOMS gives back.
“‘What would you tell someone in the USA who won’t buy the jeans that you make because they don’t think you are paid enough or treated fairly?’ I ask. Phoan, lost in thought, stares at the floor. ’If they pay $45 for jeans,’ Ai says, ‘it helps us. If people don’t buy, I’m unhappy because I wouldn’t have a job.’ Ai laughs at the simplicity of the logic. Is it that simple? Does an undecuated, 24-year-old garment worker hold the answer to how I should behave as a consumer? To buy or not to buy, that is the question. “
- excerpt from Where Am I Wearing? by Kelsey Timmerman (emphasis added)
For decades, boycotting companies for bad labor practices has been a tactic employed to stop sweatshop labor and hold corporations accountable for wrongdoings at different levels of the supply chain. And increased awareness has Continue reading →
Pseudo-review of Where Am I Wearing? by Kelsey Timmerman
Where Am I Wearing? is the story of the author’s travels to all of the countries that made his favorite clothes to meet the people that made them. He visits Honduras (t-shirt), Bangladesh (“Jingle These” boxers), Cambodia (jeans), China (flip flops) and finally the US (shorts). Contrary to what you might expect from the story of such a journey, the book is not preachy. It’s not depressing or pessimistic. If I had to describe it in one word I’d say it’s inquisitive. Timmerman expertly captures Continue reading →