Do Me A Solid: TOMS Give Shop

A few weeks ago, we were invited to check out a creative holiday pop-up shop that wasn’t all about sales, shopping or spending money. The TOMS Give Shop was instead about giving back to all of the people that have supported the charitable company since its inception. And with the recent, tragic news from Connecticut, we thought we’d share a positive story about helping children, especially at this time of year.



The Give Shop was held just a hop, skip and a jump away from our office, so we headed over after work one day to check it out. Inside, we found an adorable set-up of activities and information about the work that TOMS does, all themed in a spirit of the holidays.



There, you could have a photo taken with some amazing props (reindeer antlers, Santa aprons, ugly Christmas sweaters and more), which you’d then bring over to another station to make your very own snow globe.

Abby and Natalie.


Natalie makes a snow globe.



There was a spot where you could fill out a pledge – something that you planned to do more of or be better at in the new year, in exchange for a small gift from TOMS.

Write a pledge – and stick with it.



There were tasty drinks, cupcakes and spots to sit and read all about good stuff that’s happened with TOMS since the company began in 2006.

You know we love a good DIY cupcake.



You very likely know what the TOMS mandate is (in fact, we’ve mentioned it on here before), but here’s the background: founder Blake Mycoskie was travelling in Argentina when he noticed that many of the children he saw were barefoot. TOMS was born, with the basic premise that with every pair of shoes purchased, another would be given to a child who needed them. Within his first year, Myscoskie returned to Argentina with 10,000 pairs of shoes to distribute – a pretty healthy start.


Since then, TOMS has donated millions of pairs of shoes to children in more than 40 countries around the world.


They work with humanitarian organizations that have a long-term presence in the country they’re giving to, and don’t give once and leave. Since children grow out of shoes, they work to establish relationships that allow them to continue providing shoes to a community. They work with local businesses to make sure they’re not negatively impacted, and children who receive TOMS get them as part of a bigger health and educational program.



Most importantly, they’re pretty rigourous about ensuring that no children are involved in manufacturing their shoes, and hire third-party sources to verify that there is no child labour and everyone receives fair wages.


Fun fact: there is no Tom that inspired the name. It’s a shortened form of “Shoes for a Better Tomorrow”.


For more about how TOMS gives, check out their Giving Report. They also host the annual “One Day Without Shoes” event to raise awareness about their work, details of which are here. They’ve also recently launched the One for One Movement with eyewear, providing glasses for people in need.


All images courtesy of Rooftop Agency

Do Me A Solid: Designers give back

Because giving back never goes out of style, we are buying up fashionable, socially responsible products. To look great and feel even better doing it, grab your credit card and join us on this Warby Parker, MAC Cosmetics and TOMS Shoes shopping spree.


Warby Parker
Call us “four eyes,” because wearing specs just got a whole lot cooler with designs by Warby Parker. Off the runways, fashion week’s front row trendsetters were all about these vintage-inspired chunky frames. 

 
Much more than just the latest accessory, Warby Parker is giving vision to some of the one billion people around the world without access to glasses. Through their Buy A Pair Give a Pair policy, the company has already distributed 20,000 frames to those in need. For the nearsighted or those with 20/20 vision, Warby Parkers are a fashion statement with heart.   

MAC Cosmetics
VIVA GLAM lines by MAC Cosmetics colour their users pretty, while supporting men, women and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. For its spring 2011 line, MAC has bottled the spirit of Lady Gaga in nude shades of lipstick and Lipglass. Inspired by the pop icon, soon Little Monsters everywhere can just dance in hues of Gaga, because we were born that way. 


With 100 per cent of the proceeds donated to the MAC AIDS fund, looking good has never felt so great.

TOMS
Take a step towards a better tomorrow with TOMS Shoes. Based on a One for One model, TOMS donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. Lead by founder Blake Mycoskie, TOMS Shoes is changing the way we buy shoes and the way we give back. 

Made of canvas and lined in suede with a rubber sole, TOMS are equal part style and comfort. Up next, The Row mega designers, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen will design a limited edition collection for TOMS. Made with luxe fabrics in cool prints, it’s the signature The Row style we love at prices we can afford. We’ll take them all, because hey, it’s a really good cause. 


We love that these designers and companies are giving back to those in need, and hope that more enterprising folks follow suit.