September 21, 2011

Toms VS Bobs

I've been trying to find comfortable shoes to wear to work for a while now. I need something that I can slip on and wear to work, run around in, and still be stylish. I've wanted these gold Toms for the longest time, and I love glitter (as you might be able to tell some of the items in my etsy shop). They just seemed a little out of my budget - expecially since I'm running after a 1.5 year old in the playground. I also read some reviews stating that they only last about 2 months, and I usually wear my shoes to the bone, so I needed something that if it did get ruined, I wouldnt feel totally guilty about spending $60 on. So I went to Famous Footwear to find some $30 keds or something and I found these knock off Toms there. I was outraged! How dare they copy a style (which lets be honest most fashion is just a direct copy of something else) of Toms shoes with out the actual and most important thing - the meaning behind them. For those of you who are not familiar with Toms (which, might be no one at this point) they're a wonderful company that started in California and with every purchase of Toms shoes a child in a developing country gets a pair of shoes.

"In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers."

An awesome missions statement. So awesome that other companies are copying them. Bobs by Skechers is ultimately the same. Skechers partnered up with Soles 4 Souls and is promising two pairs of shoes donated for everyone one sold.

"SKECHERS USA, Inc.  a global leader in the footwear industry and the Number 2 footwear brand in the United States*, today announced that for every pair of BOBS alpagarta shoes sold, the Company will donate two pairs of BOBS shoes to children in need through the Soles4Souls shoe charity organization."

Although I felt kind of crummy about Skechers totally copying the idea, the ultimate point of this is that now there are two great companies that are donating shoes to children that really need them.

So okay, I bought the pair of Bobs shoes from Famous Footwear after doing some research on them. They're super comfortable, and glittery, and look EXACTLY THE SAME. I kind of wish they looked a little different. Then I wouldn't feel like I was the one copying Toms. Oh well. (pssst - the Bobs were half the price)


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5 comments:

  1. I had really wanted a pair of Tom's until very recently. I thought what they were doing was great too. But then a friend of mine posted a story about how Tom's is supporting a Christian group called Focus on the Family, which is anti-gay and anti-choice and anti-union (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-nereo/progayantitoms_b_893433.html). Then I got linked to another site where they explained that by giving shoes to poor children, it is hurting the local economy more than it is helping it, because what they should really be doing is hiring those people to make the shoes and giving them jobs. Instead, they are just giving them shoes that they make in China, even though there are already shoes being sold there made by the local people, so they're actually hurting the economy with their donations. I don't know, it made a lot of sense to me and now I don't want a pair of Tom's anymore. :( But I still want comfortable shoes. Sigh.

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  2. Okay, I'm back. Sorry if my comment sounded all preachy. I didn't mean it to be! Just wanted to SPREAD AWARENESS. I mean, I definitely don't have principles when it comes to shopping at all, since I'm URBN's biggest fan and they are not really a great company. If you want gold glitter shoes (and they are cute), by all means get them! But don't get them just because you think the company is doing such wonderful things, you know? Okay, I'm done. Miss you!!! Hope to talk to you tomorrow!

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  3. Wow that's so surprising, especially since they market themselves so well to more of an earth friendly-liberal-consumer!

    Although, giving them jobs would be best for them, as a company saying "By buying a pair of shoes you're giving a community more jobs by creating your shoes! Your shoes were hand made by this community" - i dontttt think that would exactly fly with the consumer -- EVEN IF IT MAY BE THE BEST THING FOR THE COMMUNITY. Its all about marketing. There needs to be a better way to do good in the world with out tricking a consumer into it. I'm trying to find more info on Soles4Souls though. Do you know anything about them?

    ALSO I don't think you sounded preachy at all! I'm GLAD you shared the article! I feel like these big companies should be doing SO MUCH MORE since they clearly easily have the ability to do so.

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  4. Yeah I think the worst is that they market themselves to be so charitable and wonderful blah blah. But that's all it is, marketing and making money. Sigh. I haven't looked into Soles4Souls though. I'm pretty lazy... and would never have found out about the Tom's thing if I hadn't gotten linked to it. (Yay for politically proactive FB friends!)

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  5. They are both going for the same cause. So the people who are stuck on "they're a rip off of toms" are people who are in it for the trend and could careless about the cause as long as they're sporting the $54 tom's name. If you genuinely were doing it for charity the name on your foot wouldn't matter and the various prices would be on what for your budget like all other charitable donations.

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