By David Dorf on Oct 08, 2013
If you're like me, you've heard of TOMS shoes but you may not know the back-story. And since they're an Oracle Retail customer (and recently spoke at Oracle OpenWorld), I decided I should learn little more. TOMS is famous for giving away a pair of shoes in developing countries for each pair they sell. It all start when Blake Mycoskie, an Amazing Race contestant, visited Argentina and noticed two things. Farmers were wearing a unique canvas shoe that looked comfortable, and lots of kids couldn't afford to wear shoes at all. Thus the "one for one" business model was born.
I got to see the benefits of this program on my recent visit to Honduras. While handing out clothes, books, and stickers in small villages, I saw many kids without shoes. And I also saw TOMS shoes being handed out to those same kids, making them very happy. (Photo by Jeff Roster who was also on the trip.)
If shoes work, then why not sunglasses? For each pair of sunglasses sold, TOMS will provide eye care for someone in need. I was stunned to learn there are 285 million visually impaired people worldwide of which 80% can be corrected or prevented with available eye care. I just can't imagine being blind while knowing a cure is available but out of reach.
To call attention to this issue, TOMS is asking that we wear our shades indoors on October 10th. Watch the @oracleretail twitter feed and see if you recognize any Oracle Retail employees.
It's okay to be shady.