On September 25, 2013 TOMS Founder and Chief Shoe Giver Blake Mycoskie announced TOMS’ commitment to support local shoe manufacturing in Haiti at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting. We are excited to share this commitment with our community.
TOMS made a five-year commitment to produce millions of TOMS Giving Shoes and to help establish and support the growth of a responsible and sustainable shoe industry in Haiti.
To date, TOMS has given over 35 million pairs of new shoes to children in need globally. This is an amazing accomplishment, but we’re not done. We’ve seen that our business model has the potential to help improve lives in more ways. Over the last year, we’ve invested in creating jobs, supported social entrepreneurs and helped develop industries.
Since the devastating earthquake in 2010, Haiti has received substantial investment through foreign governments, aid, private partners and more. Despite this, it remains a challenge to create self-sustaining private markets in the country. Private investors that are committed for the long-term are needed to help complete this picture. With private investment, public and non-profit projects can be leveraged to help jumpstart industries. TOMS is proud to be one company helping fill this need in Haiti.
Over the next year, TOMS will support its manufacturing partners to break ground and establish operations in Haiti – bringing at least 40+ new jobs and focused training. In addition, TOMS aims to provide services for employees, their families and the broader community across a range of potential areas like education, health and early childhood support.
In addition to manufacturing, TOMS will continue the Haiti Artist Collective, a program that employs 30 Haitian artisans to design and hand-paint retail shoes in Haiti. Each pair is unique and available to customers exclusively through TOMS.com.
What are our projected milestones?
- Manufacturing facility opens by the first quarter of 2014.
- Within one year: We estimate that the production of TOMS Giving Shoes will create 100 jobs.
- In the next year: In addition to the living wages paid, TOMS anticipates working alongside local organizations to help provide health care, education, and early childhood support.
- Ongoing: We will continue our investment in the Haiti Artist Collective through 2014.
Throughout the process, TOMS executives will be involved and visit Haiti regularly to participate in the betterment of the production facility. TOMS will also help oversee that working conditions are acceptable and fair living wages are being paid.
We invite you to follow our progress here on the TOMS Blog and on our other social media channels. We want to thank our amazing community, which has helped make initiatives of this scale possible. With your support, honest feedback and challenges posed to us, we have evolved One for One and have the potential to impact those we serve even more.
Thank you for joining us for this journey!