The Pro’s & Con’s of TOMS Shoes (and another option)

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: toms herringbone

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.

Giveaways Don’t Solve the Problem

As Kelsey Timmerman, author of Where Am I Wearing, reminds us, this is a classic case of giving someone a fish vs. teaching him/her how to fish. Giving children shoes is all very well and good, but does nothing to address the root causes of the poverty that makes them shoeless in the first place.  In fact, Continue reading