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Saving the world one shoe at a time

By: Jennifer Baguss

One for one, that’s the basis of the shoe company, Toms.

Most people already know that for every pair of Toms sold, a second pair will be donated to a child in need of shoes.

The popular footwear can be seen all over campus on any given day, but are students embracing Toms because of their social impact, or are they just a passing trend?

Early childhood education students Daniela Djayaputra and Aynsly Osborne seem to think that the popularity of Toms relies more on the feel of the shoes rather than the look or social impact.

Djayaputra says that Toms are the most comfortable shoes she owns.

“It feels like I’m not wearing any shoes at all,” she said.

The girls admit that they don’t often think about the social impact of their canvas footwear, but Osborne says that whenever someone asks her about her shoes, she always begins by explaining the charitable aspect of the company.
Founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie after he visited Argentina and noticed that many school children were barefoot. The company aims to give shoes to children in need.

Brandon Beck, sales associate at Warrens in the Rideau Centre says that Toms are mostly popular among students.
He says during an average eight-hour shift, the store will sell between 20 and 30 pairs of Toms.

“Most of the people buying them already know the story behind them,” he said. “They usually already own a pair of Toms, but come back for a second or third pair.”

He says that when someone comes to Warrens who hasn’t heard of Toms before, they are easily sold on the idea once he explains.

“As soon as I tell them about the one for one, they want to buy a pair,” he said.

Djayaputra and Osborne say they both own multiple pairs of Toms, but that the quality of the shoe could be a little better for the roughly $50 they cost.

“They are a little overpriced for what they are,” said Djayaputra.

“But if you think about it, you’re actually buying two pairs of shoes, so it’s really not that bad,” said Osborne.
Despite the quality issues, Djayaputra and Osborne agree that even without the social impact or popularity factor, they would buy Toms simply based on how comfortable they are.

“These shoes are comfortable and they’re really making a difference,” Beck said. “And it’s cool to save the world.”

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