TOMS Shoes: Buy One, Give One Free

On Monday, April 9 at 8:15 p.m., the St. Mary’s women’s soccer team hosted For Tomorrow: The TOMS Shoes Story in Cole Cinema, a documentary telling the story of how TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie started a movement to give shoes to those in need.

Only 35 minutes in length and a mixture of interviews, textual information, and live footage, the documentary told the story of TOMS, a shoe company that donates one pair of shoes to third-world communities without them for every pair bought around the world.

Also the Chief Shoe Giver for TOMS, Mycoskie began the project in 2006 after seeing children in Argentina who grew up without shoes. In areas where the nearest school could be miles away and only reachable on foot over ground frequented by pathogens and parasites, Mycoskie was inspired to start a company to give back to the communities that needed shoes the most.

The documentary mainly focuses on Mycoskie’s first “shoe drop” to these same villages after he promised the people he would return. He did in 2007, bringing with him 10,000 pairs of shoes to place by hand on the feet of those in need.

Now, Mycoskie’s business has expanded, selling not only shoes but also eyewear. In this same way, TOMS follows the “One for One” policy; buying a pair gives a pair to someone else in need, not only in third-world areas but also first-world cities like Los Angeles.

Since 2010, TOMS has donated over 600,000 pairs of shoes. Mycoskie’s philosophy, quoting Indian independence movement leader Mohandas Ghandi, is “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Though the event was not largely attended, many of the audience members seemed to enjoy the documentary and Mycoskie’s philanthropist vision for all businesses and consumers.

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