Footwear with a purpose

Footwear with a purpose

Toms shoes are a recent fashion that also help bring shoes to underprivileged children. Photo credit: Diana Pratt/ UVU Review
Toms shoes are a recent fashion that also help bring shoes to underprivileged children. Photo credit: Diana Pratt/ UVU Review

Toms shoes seem to be everywhere. Students have been seen wearing them all over campus. They have even caused a frenzy within popular publications like Vogue, The New York Times and People Magazine.

These simple shoes, usually made of canvas, came on the market in 2006. Since that time, Toms have gained worldwide popularity as footwear with a purpose.

For every pair purchased, a pair is donated to a child in need.

The founder, Blake Mycoskie, developed the concept after vacationing in Argentina and befriending shoeless children. Mycoskie wanted to provide a way to give back and place shoes on the feet of needy children worldwide.

“I first saw them at Macy’s, and they had a tag on them saying that they would donate a pair to a child in another country,” said student Jen Osorio. “I thought that was so generous, so I bought two pairs.”

The shoes come in all different colors, shapes and textures, even tie-dye and glitter. They start at $44 and are sold at over 500 stores.

According to Toms.com, Mycoski has given away over 140,000 shoes in the U.S., Ethiopia, Argentina and South Africa and expects to give away 300,000 more this year.

Catie Phillips, who works with the school’s Toms club, said, “We just really want to raise awareness right now and try to get the Toms name out there. There’s so much need out there and this is a simple way for us to give back.”

The club will be holding their first event, “Toms Shoes Benefit Show,” at 8 p.m. on Dec. 2 at Muse Music in Provo. Jennifer Blosil, The Conversationalist, Mud Bison and Hayley Hendrickson will be performing. Tickets are $6.

“I think as Americans, we often take things for granted and block out the poverty and famine that exists in third world countries,” said Phillips. “We need to take a stand and do something to help.”

Toms Club meets every Wednesday at 3 p.m. in LC 206. All students interested are encouraged to come and join.

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