In recent months I discovered a cool and stylish international fashion brand called TOMS. Essentially it was TOMS Shoes that I came across first (and their new styles – see here), however; the more I learned about this incredible brand and its Founder, Blake Mycoski, the more I fell in love with every aspect of them and especially the revolutionary One for One movement that has shaped not only their core business, but our generation.
This ‘for-profit’ company is the brain-child of Chief Shoe Giver, Blake Mycoskie. Blake started the powerful One for One concept of giving a pair of shoes to the less fortunate for each TOMS Shoes sale whilst traveling through Argentina in 2006 and witnessing first hand the hardships faced by families with children who grow up without the funds for necessities such as shoes.
Then with the success of providing millions of new shoes to children through humanitarian organizations, Blake saw that the One for One movement could be applied to more than just shoes and so that’s when he set out to develop TOMS Eyewear in 2011. Helping to restore the eyesight to a person in need with every pair of sunglasses purchased.
From there, Blake learned more about international development in third world countries and how his business model was impacting them for the better and so he then set out to address two vital needs in undeserved communities; jobs and clean water. Which essentially lead to the launch of TOMS Roasting Co. in 2014 – a direct-trade, premium coffee line that helps provide clean water to communities in need.
A true entrepreneur at heart and humanitarian to say the least, Blake, who initially realised the need to revolutionise the world from the ground up with such vigor, success and leadership, also released his New York Times bestselling book called, Start Something That Matters in 2011. Referencing his own inspirational story and the power of incorporating giving into business to inspire others to turn their passion and dreams into a reality.
Not only has Blake’s TOMS One for One concept lead further entrepreneurs all over the world to adopt similar business models, but his dedication has lead him to be awarded with numerous accolades. In 2009, Blake and TOMS received the Secretary of State’s 2009 Award of Corporate Excellence (ACE). Furthermore, at the Clinton Global Initiative University plenary session, former President Clinton introduced Blake to the audience as “one of the most interesting entrepreneurs (I’ve) ever met.” People Magazine featured Blake in its “Heroes Among Us” section, and TOMS Shoes was featured in the Bill Gates Time Magazine article “How to Fix Capitalism.”
In 2011, Blake was named on Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list, recognizing him as one of the top young businessmen in the world and it’s not hard to see why… Blake is passionate, inspirational and engaging and the world needs more fashion brands that recognise the fundamental need to give back to the community as a whole.
His hope, “To see a future full of social-minded businesses and consumers.” And you can join his One for One movement here: http://www.toms.com/.