The opening of the new TOMS London flagship store on Carnaby Street got me so excited! Now it’s easier to make an ethical choice when you’re walking down Oxford Street, passing all the Primarks and H&Ms and so on and so forth…
The store has a small cafe on the ground floor, just as you walk in on your right hand side, with great coffee, pastries, and their own TOMS biscuits!
TOMS is a for-profit company based in Playa Del Rey, California, that operated the now defunct non-profit subsidiary, Friends of Toms. The company was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, an entrepreneur from Texas.
This spring, TOMS gave away its 10 millionth pair of shoes. “Within the next 18 to 24 months,” Mycoskie says, “we expect we’ll have given away 10 million more.” It now also sells sunglasses—more than 150,000 pairs in the past two years—and in turn has helped deliver eye care to more than 150,000 people. Toms currently donates shoes in 59 countries and eye care in 13. The figures add up to remarkable growth for a remarkable company, one that has put shoes on the feet of many poor children, made its owner a very rich man, and pioneered a much-admired business model. “I had no idea it would ever get this big,” says Mycoskie, a 36-year-old Texan whose laid-back, surfer-dude vibe masks the ambition of an entrepreneur who prefers to talk less about the company he has built than of the movement he is building. “Now that we’ve grown, it’s all about: How do you use these resources to do even more?”
TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie and wife Heather Mycoskie attend the launch of TOMS London Community Outpost, their first UK Flagship store