Toms Shoes

Many of us know about Toms shoes, you buy a pair, they give a pair in Honduras or somewhere where children need shoes. The company also has a go barefoot for one day event and has built its success on the idea that it cares about making the world a better place. Founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, Toms Shoes believes in the notion of conscious capitalism, which in essence injects a conscience into a cold economic concept. Actually the idea of conscious capitalism was coined by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey who believes that the best way to maximize long term profits is to engage your business in a higher purpose. Besides Mycoskie and Toms shoes, Several companies have followed in Mackey’s footsteps, Starbucks, Lockeed Martin, Wal-Mart among others. In each case the idea of building community, engaging in charity or cultivating morals was or is used and makes consumers feel good.
Some are now looking at what is behind all this do good philosophy asking if it is really more than a public relations campaign. Critics say nothing has changed as a result of these efforts meaning poverty is not being reduced. Lucia Hulsether in an article for Religion& Politics which was reprinted in the Utne Reader writes that such campaigns,”… promotes feelings of political empowerment and spiritual discipline, minus a call for substantive change in economic or social orders.” Whether we agree with her or with any of the critics, we ought to look at Toms Shoes et al do good efforts with an informed, perhaps leery, eye.