Charity spending is all the rage in fashion these days. From “buying green,” “eating local,” to just good ol’ “giving back,” people have suddenly remembered their humanity and contributed to the world good with their purchases. For a while, I was skeptic, because all of this altruism tended to be expensive, with not a lot of promised philanthropy on the other end (really, Starbucks? Ethos water costs $2, but only a few cents go to building wells in underdeveloped countries? Spare me.)
I put my skepticism aside, however, when I stumbled upon TOMS shoes. A neat-o Santa Monica based company, TOMS (a play on Shoes for Tomorrow) donates a brand spanking new pair of shoes to a child in need with your own purchase of a pair. TOMS’ charitable matching manifesto is fantastic, as there is no bs in the process: you buy shoes, a child receives shoes.
This beneficence is made better by the low price point and the quirky shoe design. Made of canvas and styled after the Argentine “alpargata,” the designs look comfortable and versatile. I call them Vans with a soul, and averaging at $48 a pop? Who doesn’t want to look good and “internacional” at the same time?
If this is what it means to have recession and guilt proof shopping, sign me up.