TOMS bags

One for one

Monday 6 June 2016

A. The main facts about the activities of the company.

TOMS was created in 2006 in Argentine by Blake Mycoskie. He is a reader and traveler lover. His hope is to achieve a social-minded business world and is trying to do it encouraging people to dream of a better world and pursue it giving in everything they do.

The company creation was unintencionally. The idea came up when Blake faced the problems that children have when growing up without shoes. Then he created TOMS Shoes, a simple business model to match every pair of shoes purchased with another pair for a child in need.

That project was called one for one and started to growth from shoes to bags, eyewear and coffee. In that project we are going to focus in TOMS Bag Collection which was created in 2015. The idea was to help and giving a save birth for the mother and the child for every bag purchase. TOMS makes that real providing training for skilled birth attendants and distribute birth kits which contains help for woman safely deliver her baby. That Collection is inspired in the locations where de company gives shoes, sight and water and the styles, patterns and textiles convey the Company’s passion for “functional beauty and everyday utility”.

B. The Ethical challenges this company is addressing.

When the owner of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie decided to create it, he never thought about the firm for its profits. He thought about how he could help society. He did not just sold a product, he was selling an ethical movement, the “One for One” model for firms. TOMS identifies a need and its “Giving department” creates a product that can be related with this need.

In this case we are talking about the bags they sell. For each bag purchase, it supports to their Giving Partners in delivering the vital materials and training needed to help provide a safe birth regardless of the facility. In other words, their challenge is to achieve that each woman in the world has the same birth conditions as a citizen in a developed country.

In developed countries we take for granted that we’ll get this conditions but we do not realize, or we do not want to realize, that it is not the same in every country in the world. The main objective of TOMS’ bag project is to make people more conscious that not every woman has the possibility to give birth in such conditions, because every two minutes a woman dies from complications related to pregnancy or child birth, which in the end, it is 800 women every day.

The principal ethical challenge this project is facing is to convert a problem which is felt far away from the personal experience to make it close to each person that buy the bag and that because somebody was born in one country or another they should not be treated different.

Bringing the same conditions of the developed countries to other countries, TOMS bag project wants to stablish a minimum standards for every woman in the world. They want to overstep the limitations that society and governments have in those countries through the help of an outsider firm.

With the “One for One” model they reach to transform an unknown problem far away from us into a personal experience that gets into us.

C. What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it?

TOMS has a social business model base on a one-for-one policy: If you buy one bag from TOMS, they’ll be able to help one woman in need. That’s why the price of the bag covers the cost of producing it and the margin is given for a good cause. TOMS engages with the society and the environment. Its goal is fighting against poverty, not maximizing mere profits.

We believe in this company because of its transparency. The prove of that is its website, the creation of a community and the media:

- On its website, you can find all the information of the company: Who they are, what they sell, how they produce its goods, their partnerships, the good cause they are involved, etc.
- Moreover, having those bags means something else than just “looking good”: It means to be part of a large community that cares and want to find a solution for the poverty in the Third-World countries.
- The media is very important when we talk about social businesses. And, the press has always talked positively about TOMS. No bad press has been found.

We can learn from TOMS that is possible to produce high quality products and compete in the market while helping those that, unfortunately, doesn’t enjoy the same human rights as us. In addition, it teaches us that they can do all this and still keep growing.

D.The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

TOMS isn’t still stop. It is in continue movement and doing lots of things.
It has also lots of challenges, the main important right now are:
- becoming more International and leave footprint of what they promote around the world.
- continue having market participation to continue helping the society with their movement.
TOMS is a movement trying to improve society. TOMS has helped with different projects.
1. PODOCONIOSIS, a debilitating disease that causes painful swelling of the feet and legs due to irritants found in certain countries’ soils. In Ethiopia 4 million people are infected with podo.
2. It has supported the treatment, provided prevention, also supported formation and helped to hire Ethiopian shoe shiners to make shoes for podo sufferers.
3. “Impact Studies” that it has done, investing millions of dollars in partnering with academic and research institutions to conduct studies that gauge the impact our One for One products are having on the ground. This initiative is about, for one shoe buoyed, another is given to a poor baby.
4. Giving, a team with more than 20 experienced individuals that are dedicated to every aspect of giving, including strategic planning, logistical support, program development, communications and impact measurement.
5. Products Partnership where it helps, since helping to HIV/AIDS education and prevention, Clean water initiatives, the “Movember”, that give aid to men’s health and BEN AFFLECK’S EASTERN CONGO INITIATIVE, that is about Regional development.
6. THE BAGS: THESE BAGS HELP SAVE LIVES. Infection is a leading cause of death among mothers and new-borns worldwide. But with clean birth conditions and skilled birth attendants, nearly half a million lives can be saved.
This are all the improvements that has Toms done it, and it’s still doing, in order to help society and make a better world

Bibliography

http://www.toms.com/

http://www.inc.com/magazine/201605/leigh-buchanan/toms-founder-blake-mycoskie-social-entrepreneurship.html

http://www.seattletimes.com/life/fashion/60-million-pairs-of-shoes-and-10-years-later-toms-shoes-founder-reflects/

Location: Los Angeles, California (United Stated of America)

Sector: Wholesale and retail trade

Official website: http://www.toms.com/

Key figures:

Cooperation with NGOs, fairness, integration, "one for one", bags, poverty, childs in need, safe birth, equallity

Nbr. visits: 473