Podcast Ep. 21, BLAKE MYCOSKIE, TOMS's CHIEF SHOEGIVER ON 'ONE FOR ONE'
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EPISODE 21 FEATURES BLAKE MYCOSKIE
Have you got big ideas? Do you dream of starting a company that makes a difference in the world? Or working for one? Are you interested in how brands can create positive impacts in communities, beyond the boring, some would say broken, mainstream consumerism model? This Episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in social enterprises.
Not everyone is on board with the 'One for One' business model. You can read about why here, but I'd say, it's easy to criticise, isn't it? Much easier than building something ambitious and groundbreaking. Blake is the first to admit they're not perfect - in this interview, for example, he says TOMS has more work to do when it comes to its eco footprint. Eleven years on, the business is evolving. Today, it reaches goes beyond One for One (although that remains at its core) supporting things like clean water and eye health programs and working with a whole host of charity partners. I love the idea that our purchases can help make a positive difference.
Inspiring, eloquent, generous, Blake Mycoskie is one of the most successful players in this space, and in this interview he shares the story of his company TOMS, how he built it, what it takes to succeed, and why he keeps going. "Our main mission is to use business to improve lives," he says.
He's been on Fortune's '40 Under 40' list, and the OPRAH and Ellen shows. TOMS had some of its first major publicity in American Vogue, and since then there have been fashion collaborations with the likes of Tabitha Simmons and most recently & Other Stories - the latter included apparel and supported Magic Bus and its Women’s Scholarship Fund's English language classes for young women in India. Last year the TOMS x Prabal Gurung Alpargata line gave back to the Shikshya Foundation Nepal.
This Episode is full of insights for changemakers who want to use their powers for social good. We discuss the essential ingredients for getting a venture like this off the ground and making it grow, what it takes to suck it up when things go wrong and the challenges and joys of building better business. Oh, and shoes. Of course we talk about shoes. This is a fashion podcast after all...
"IF A BUSINESS IS REALLY WILLING TO STAND FOR SOMETHING IT CAN STAND OUT" - BLAKE MYCOSCKIE
TOMS BY NUMBERS...
- More than 75 million pairs of TOMS shoes have been given to kids who need them
- TOMS has helped restore sight to more than 500,000 people
- Each bag of TOMS Roasting Co. Coffee provides 140 liters of safe water, a week's supply, to a person in need.
- TOMS has supported safe birth services for more than 175,000 mums
- They give in over 70 countries
What we talk about...
Blake's book START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS came out in 2006, and tells "the incredible story of the man behind TOMS Shoes and One for One, the revolutionary business model that marries fun, profit, and social good." With every book sold, a new book is provided to a child in need. Win!
Let My People Go Surfing by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard is 'part memoir, part manifesto' from the legendary climber, businessman and environmentalist.
WATER FOR PEOPLE promotes the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all, and sustained by strong communities, businesses, and governments. 2.1 billion people around the world don't have access to safe water and 4.5 billion lack access to adequate sanitation. Women and children spend more than four hours walking for water each day, and more than 840,000 people die each year from water-related diseases.
National Geographic's BIG CAT INITIATIVE supports scientists and conservationists working to save big cats in the wild. Africa's lion population has declined by 90 % in the last 75 years. Cheetahs have disappeared from 75% of their ranges. Less than 4,000 tigers remain in the wild. They say, "The Big Cats Initiative, founded in 2009 with National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, is taking action now to assure big cats in the wild are not gone forever. Partnering with some of the world’s leading big cat experts, the initiative funds on-the-ground research and innovative conservation projects to protect our planet’s top felines and leads a global public awareness campaign to shine light on the issue."
SEVA is is a global nonprofit eye care organisation that transforms lives and strengthens communities by restoring sight and preventing blindness.
VEGAN SHOES, HURRAH
I often get asked for vegan shoe recommendations that don't pack the punch to the wallet of a pair of Stella McCartney's. TOMS to the rescue. Here's a few of leather free options that won't break the bank. The classic Alpargatas have canvas uppers and rubber soles.
"EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE" - BLAKE MYCOSKIE
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