TOMS, the B Corp footwear brand, is poised to continue to create meaningful impact this year, and well into the future.
From its founding in 2006, TOMS has been a company that remains grounded in their mission: using business to improve lives. TOMS has led the industry with various campaigns and initiatives aimed at increasing equity and providing mental health resources. This past year, TOMS launched their new tagline, WEAR GOOD, which aims to empower their consumers to choose to wear their impact on their feet. They also announced their impact focus is on providing mental health resources, which is particularly relevant in a post-pandemic era where people continue to struggle with various issues — especially those in under resourced communities.
And while the brand is renowned for its impact on people and communities, TOMS couldn’t succeed without offering fashionable and comfortable footwear. After all, doing good starts with a great product. For 2023, TOMS is finding itself in a sweet spot of having its iconic product align with current trends while also recognizing an increasing need to continue to create meaningful impact.
From a trend perspective, Amy Smith, Chief Brand Officer, said the footwear trends are returning to minimalist and classic styles. “We know that the consumer is looking for both fashion relevance and comfort and TOMS delivers that across the product line from Alps to boots and everything in between,” Smith said, adding that TOMS’ icon, the Alpargata, “the shoe that started it all, fits this trend.”
Smith said the company has remained true to its icon, which continues to be a bestseller. The offering in this line includes something for everyone. In women’s, the Alpargata is available in heritage canvas and waffle knit, and features that include platform rope soles and cupsoles. In men’s, the Alpargata is available in its classic silhouette with canvas uppers, as well as a new iteration that just launched: the Alp FWD, which has a wider footbed and more top-of-foot coverage.
TOMS also touts versatility across the product line, which delights consumers. “TOMS fashion relevance and versatility can take you from work to running errands to dinner with friends — all while keeping you comfortable and looking great” Smith said, adding that the brand’s booties are also versatile — designed for a perfect transition from Winter to Spring. And TOMS will continue to diversify its product offering with on-trend boots, sandals, and wedges.
Smith said it is important to note that consumers today are making thoughtful choices about what they wear. And at TOMS, “we are proud to wear our impact on our feet. So, “when a consumer chooses to wear TOMS, they choose to WEAR GOOD.”
TOMS’ work is clearly moving the needle and creating impact.
“When you buy TOMS, you help fund access to mental health resources for the millions of people who need them,” Smith said. “We do this by giving one-third of our profits in support of grassroots organizations focused on creating more equity at the local level. To date, we have impacted over 105 million lives through our giving. Each pair of TOMS that you buy helps us to give more.”
TOMS works with organizations all over the world. It’s impact partners include non-profits such as Brave Trails, which is a leadership-focused summer camp for LGBTQ+ youth that runs a mental health program tailored to the young people they serve. Brave Trails was given its first Impact Grant from TOMS in 2020 and the company continues to support them today.
“Brave Trails used the initial grant to help launch their Mental Health Program, with the funds allowing them to hire staff and complete training materials,” Smith said. “TOMS also works to support Brave Trails beyond the check by volunteering and offering creative support. In 2022, TOMS employees helped Brave Trails get ready for Summer Camp by helping to build bunk beds for campers and compiling mental health first aid kits for the campers and staff to use throughout the summer. TOMS also captured still photography and video at Brave Trails which they use in their website.”
Details about this ongoing work can be found in TOMS’ annual Impact Report, which can be found by visiting TOMS.com/impact.
It’s noteworthy that TOMS is the originator of the One for One impact model. The company is honored that other organizations have embraced the model and will likely continue to do so. Smith also said as TOMS evolves, the company will lead on innovation and impact. And that includes leaning into WEAR GOOD and encouraging customers to join the mission.
“We are proud that in 2022, TOMS was awarded the Best for the World,” Smith said. “This means we scored in the top 5% of B Corp organizations for our efforts in the community, including charitable giving, investment in diversity, and education opportunities.”
So, what’s in store for the next five years? Smith said TOMS remains fully committed to its mission of improving lives. “We will continue to offer best in class giving, while challenging ourselves to improve our B Corp score,” Smith said. “And we will continue to make beautiful, classic, fashionable products so it’s easy for you to look good while you do good – all in one place.”