Last week we brought you the launch of the TOMS Marketplace fall collection and we couldn’t be more excited. We now offer over 300 globally inspired, socially conscious products, and every product has a story.
LSTN Headphones is one of our Marketplace partners with a truly incredible story, and a very memorable giving partner. Determined to make the world a better place through the power of music and consumers, LSTN founders Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff have created a line of headphones that also helps restore hearing to people in need through the Starkey Hearing Foundation.
Each year, the Starkey Hearing Foundation fits more than 100,000 hearing aids to children and adults in more than 100 countries. They’ve made a commitment to fit more than 1 million hearing aids to people in need over this decade as part of the Clinton Global Initiative.
Starkey is definitely doing some amazing work- and you can check them out in action starting in Operation Change, a 10-part documentary series that showcases stories of positive impact around the world Monday night’s on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network at 10|9c.
We are proud to announce that Starkey and Operation Change have chosen to partner with TOMS in two episodes featuring our work in Ethiopia as well as Haiti, which aired previously but can be viewed online at www.OperationChange.com. Monday night’s episode sheds light on a disease that more than one million Ethiopian’s suffer from, Podoconiosis, or Mossy Foot disease. TOMS Founder and Chief Shoe Giver Blake Mycoskie learned of Podoconiosis on his first trip to Ethiopia. This debilitating disease is the extreme swelling of the legs due to an irritant soil found in certain countries around the world According to the World Health Organization, there are about 4 million people around the world affected, with the majority of them living in Ethiopia.
Because Podoconiosis causes disfiguration, this condition has profound social and economic impacts. Affected individuals are often barred from attending school, ostracized from social events and are seen as less desirable partners for marriage, which can make it difficult to have a meaningful life. However, this unsightly condition is not only treatable, it is 100% preventable by wearing shoes. When Blake returned from his trip, he decided TOMS would take on Podoconiosis as a personal cause. Since then, TOMS has been working with manufacturers in Ethiopia to produce giving shoes for local children, many of them at risk of contracting Podo.
Be sure to tune in to the OWN network on Monday nights at 10/9c and join the Operation Change team in Ethiopia for episodes you don’t want to miss. To watch full episodes, visit www.operationchange.com.