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The Green Life: Conscious Consumption: TOMS Hosts A Day Without Shoes

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April 05, 2011

Conscious Consumption: TOMS Hosts A Day Without Shoes

Barefoot in the city Beloved by hipsters everywhere, TOMS are also a tool for good.  For every pair of stylin' shoes you buy, a pair is donated to a child in a developing country through their One for One program. Today, TOMS is hosting its annual One Day Without Shoes, an effort to draw attention to global poverty by encouraging people in wealthier countries (those of us who choose among 10 pairs of shoes every morning) to go barefoot for a day.

Going shoeless sounds great at the beach or in a grassy park, but when you consider walking through the subway or on city streets without some protection, the prospect is considerably less appealing. In developing countries, millions of people are exposed to environmental hazards like soil-borne parasites every day because they can’t afford shoes. Schools often require shoes as part of a uniform, so children without them miss out on educational opportunities.

Last year, more than 250,000 people joined various One Day Without Shoes events, and the company has donated over a million pairs of shoes to date. Whether you’re for or against TOMS' creative marketing tactics, their charitable programs are admirable. One Day Without Shoes certainly gives us some context for our own consumption and the things we consider “necessary." Find an event near you here.

--Zoë J. Sheldon

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