TOMS Shoes: One for One Movement

TOMS Shoes is a for-profit business with a philanthropic component. TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: With every pair purchased, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.

Manufacturing the shoes and selling them to customers is only the first step of the process. Using the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good is their core principle. TOMS collaborates with nonprofits to identify children in need. The organizations TOMS chooses are organizations in humanitarian, health, and education fields. The TOMS mission transforms customers into benefactors, which allows TOMS to grow a truly sustainable business rather than depending on fundraising for support.

During its first year in business, TOMS managed to donate 10,000 shoes to children living in Argentina. Since then TOMS has expanded to distribute shoes to other regions of the world. As of September 2010, they have donated 1,000,000 pairs of new shoes worldwide. TOMS now gives in 24 nations around the world including Argentina, Peru, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and South Africa. TOMS organizes ongoing community events for supporters and enthusiasts to continually be a part of the One for One movement and unique sartorial culture. This includes volunteer-led campus clubs, the One Day Without Shoes event, Shoe Drops, and How We Wear Them, online sharing of favorite TOMS photos and stories.

TOMS was awarded and honored in 2007 with the People’s Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution. TOMS was also awarded the 2009 ACE award given by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Award for Corporate Excellence recognized TOMS for its “commitment to corporate social responsibility, innovation, exemplary practices, and democratic values worldwide.” As long as people continue to purchase TOMS shoes, children in need will receive a pair in return.

Further information


Partnership types

Provision of services / personnel; Provision of goods

Regions / countries / territories

Africa: Ethiopia; Rwanda; South Africa Americas: Argentina; Peru

Global issues

Children, youth and family welfare

Goods categories

Apparel & fashion

Business sectors

Manufacturing; Retail trade