At TOMS®, we believe we can improve people's lives through business. Founded in 2006, we understand the imperative for our company to operate responsibly and know that you want to buy from a company that works hard to integrate sustainable and responsible practices into all that they do. Our efforts are focused on making sure that we operate in a manner that's consistent with our brand values. We'll continue to travel this path and communicate with you along the journey.
Corporate Responsibility at TOMS® provides focus on the environmental and social impacts of our products and operations, responsible giving and employee life. We know that our customers will look to us for our accomplishments, which currently include:
We offer shoes with sustainable and vegan materials and are working to expand these offerings. These shoes include natural hemp, organic cotton, and/or recycled polyester and these materials are used on the upper, liner and/or the insole cover (instead of our standard suede insole). All of our shoe boxes are made from 80% recycled post-consumer waste and are printed with soy ink.
As we've disclosed previously in our Giving Report, our shoes are made in China, Ethiopia and Argentina. We are aware of the challenges associated with overseeing a global supply chain and our global staff actively manages and oversees our suppliers and vendors to ensure that our corporate responsibility standards are upheld. On an annual basis, we require our direct suppliers to certify that the materials incorporated into our products are procured in accordance with all applicable laws in the countries they do business in, including laws regarding slavery and human trafficking. We also clearly define appropriate business practices for our employees and hold them accountable for complying with our policies, including the prevention of slavery and human trafficking within our supply chain.
As we're developing our flagship store in Southern California (stay tuned for more details), our team is working hard to integrate environmentally friendly practices into both the built environment and its day-to-day operation.
Giving back to the community is an important part of any Corporate Responsibility program. Our Giving story is well documented on our website as well as in our founder, Blake Mycoskie's book, Start Something That Matters. If you are not already familiar with the One for One™ Movement, we invite you to explore how your purchase of our shoes, eyewear and apparel provides shoes or helps to restore or improve sight for someone in need. At TOMS®, giving is our DNA and has been from the start! As perhaps the only company with a Chief Giving Officer, giving will always be core to our work as a responsible company.
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
- African Proverb
As our first alpargatas were being made in Argentina in 2006, our industry peers had already developed best practices and learned hard-fought lessons in responsible operations. Where possible, we'll collaborate with industry peers and independent experts to develop and share best practices and integrate them into our supply chain.
Currently, we are members of the AAFA (American Apparel and Footwear Association) and are active participants in their Environmental and Social Responsibility Committees. We are also members of Textile Exchange and are working with them to support our efforts to use more sustainable materials. You'll find TOMS® at sustainability conferences and industry gatherings, sharing best practices within the world of sustainable design and responsible operations.
We also bring in outside experts to validate our practices...or improve them! We've engaged respected third parties to review and verify our product manufacturers within our supply chain on a facility-by-facility basis to identify potential risks. Additionally, we maintain a presence in our suppliers' facilities to insure that our standards are being met, including, without limitation, our standards prohibiting human trafficking and slavery within our supply chain. This presence includes having a respected international inspection and consulting firm audit our footwear and eyewear manufacturers on a periodic basis. These third-party audits are conducted on an announced or unannounced basis, as the circumstances merit. The information obtained from these audits (which include worker interviews) leads to corrective action and can influence business volumes and our ongoing business relationship.
"Beyond Mountains, there are Mountains."
- Haitian Proverb
As we reflect on what we've done, we know that there is always more to do! In the coming months, we'll broaden our understanding of our product and their impacts, explore additional sustainable materials and designs, and deepen our conversation with our supply chain partners. As we climb the mountain in front of us, we'll celebrate our success while eyeing that next peak in the distance.