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Toms Shoes: 'One Day Without Shoes'

One Day Without Shoes from Toms ShoesWho would have thought that shoe fashion and the desire to benefit humanity could go hand in hand (or shall we say foot in foot) with each other?

This was the case when Filipinos, mostly from central Luzon participated in the recent event held by Toms ShoesOne Day Without Shoes” at Trinoma Mall, Quezon City. ‘One Day’ is an international effort to recognize those, who are often forced to live without protection on their feet.

The program aims to raise more awareness and support for Toms One for One Movement, a campaign that urges everyone to spend the day barefoot anywhere and everywhere, to simulate the conditions deprived-children have to put up with.

Since May 2006, Toms Shoes has given 1,000,000 pairs of shoes to children in need through the support of their fans and customers. Being in the business for five years, Toms One for One Movement is more than just an innovation. With every pair you purchase, Toms will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. Thus the title, One for One.

Toms started when an American traveller, Blake Mycoskie reached a village in Argentina and found that people there had no shoes to protect their feet. He later created Toms Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. He was motivated to build a workable business model that gave as much as it got.

TOMS has already given away shoes to 23 countries: United States, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, Honduras, Peru, Argentina, Mali, Niger, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Ethiopia, South Africa, Malawi, Armenia, Mongolia, China and Cambodia.

Therese Balaguer LaO, president of SWIM Philippines, the official distributor of TOMS in the Philippines, said that the “Shoe Drop” in the Philippines is a long process to be approved but since it started this in 2009, it has been at the top of my list. Although she adds that local target areas for the benefit of the project are not to be officially announced yet.

Meanwhile, Tonichi Balaguer, vice president and general manager of Swim Philippines mentioned that it was only later in December 2009 when Toms reached the country explaining how it was only then when the country was up for “shoe-business”. The first One Day program was in April 2010.

“Last year we had it in Rockwell,” said Balaguer. “We wanted to see if people were open to the idea of walking without shoes inside the mall.”

“It was a bit uncomfortable and dyahe but this year we said maybe more people know about Toms and it’s time to talk about the One for One model to create awareness about how you can make a difference,” she added. “A simple purchase can change a life. You don’t have to do something so big. All it takes is something so small, so simple.”

In line with Toms One Day Without Shoes program, was the Style Your Soul booth which invites kids, teenagers and adults alike get to design their own Toms Shoes. This is all hosted by Nothing but H2O, the exclusive distributor of Toms in the Philippines.

By the end of the day, the advocacy was a resounding success. The fact that participants loved the product because it’s one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes one can ever own? That was just gravy.

Source: Toms Shoes

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