Eco-hero | TOMS’ new sustainable business model
By Dian Hasan | September 29, 2010
I don’t have enough good things to say about Blake Mycoskie, TOMS shoes founder. He’s brought to life a whole new way of looking at business, one that seeks a balance between Profit, People, and Planet. This is the way I view his business model, attaining profit to empower people’s economy and give back to the communities, while lessening the burden on the planet.
TOMS shoes’ model of “One-for-One“, donating a pair of shoes for every pair purchased is not only commendable, but as he has demonstrated – is a profitable sustainable business model! And that makes it one heck of a COOL COMPANY! Blake’s title on his business card says it all: “Chief Shoe Giver”!
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Blake Mycoskie, founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS Shoes, says that this Mahatma Ghandi quote is his favorite-and he even sells shoes that display those words. I met Mycoskie last evening at Arianna Huffington’s house in Los Angeles, and he so impressed me that I visited him this afternoon at TOMS headquarters in Santa Monica. Fascinating business: For every pair of shoes TOMS sells, it gives a pair to a needy child. TOMS are simple $48 canvas shoes that you can find in 400 U.S. outlets, including Nordstrom (JWN), Urban Outfitters (URBN), and Whole Foods (WFMI)-TOMS’ biggest customer. So we’re talking lots of shoes for the needy.
Mycoskie, 32, launched TOMS in May 2006 after visiting Argentina and seeing kids without shoes-and wanting to do something to help them. In just two and a half years, TOMS has given away more than 70,000 shoes in Argentina, South Africa and Ethiopia. Measured by revenues, the company is small-$8 million projected this year. But Mycoskie says it will be profitable this year. He seems to have found a sustainable model. Rather than spend on marketing-which he says eats up 20% of a typical shoe company’s gross margin-he spends on “shoe drops.” These shoe drops earn him good will and positive word of mouth.
Inspiration: The Huffington Post
This entry was posted on September 29, 2010 by frangia eco chic. It was filed under Poverty Eradication & Alleviation, Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainability and was tagged with Green Business, Social Change, Sustainability.