Monday, July 11, 2011

Future vintage 4: Toms Shoes & Eyewear


By now most of you have heard of the shoe company that gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair of shoes bought. Toms Shoes has had this One for One program long enough to have given away its millionth pair of shoes in September 2010.

Toms started out with a very simple—but not without interesting detail—shoe, and it is being made still.

I love it in this almost balletic ivory grosgrain incarnation:



The shoes for selling are made in China, but according to the website “We require that the factories operate under sound labor conditions, pay fair wages and follow local labor standards. A code of conduct is signed by all factories. Our production staff routinely visits these factories to make sure they are maintaining these working standards. We also have third parties audit the factories at least once a year to ensure they adhere to proper labor regulations.”

Toms shoes for giving are made in Argentina and Ethiopia. I sincerely wish that one day these same places could made the shoes for us to purchase.

Toms new eyewear is made in Italy. Again, each sale will have a one-to-one impact, with eye care being the focus, including eye surgery to restore sight. (See Toms page for more on the purpose of this new venture.) Currently there are three styles for women, two for men, all classics with a twist—a hand-painted striped temple. You can even try the glasses on, with a simple upload of your own photo.


For me, positive impact is good business practice, and just...right. I would consider it a badge of honor to wear Toms now and into the future, making it a good choice for Future Vintage.

Please do tell if you have any suggestions for this series on Future Vintage (1. well designed, 2. well made, 3. created by reasonably-paid people working in safe, humane conditions). See my previous Future Vintage posts featuring Marimekko, Swedish Hasbeens, and Ghanaian Batik and Breton Nautical.

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