The business community has the hardest of hearts. It is only natural for what can be expected out of a system which is born and brought up with the principles of uncontrolled capitalism. Such businesses can only work for the cause that they exist: make profit. And it does not matter where it comes from, as long as it is legal. We all know that the legal system is full of loop holes and subject to interpretation.
However, today we are not going to talk about these businesses. In fact, this is not even going to be a traditional review. Today, we will talk about TOMS, a company which changed the world with its social business mantra: One for One.
Who They Are
TOMS is a social business company which is founded on the principles of giving back to the community while still staying a for profit business. They sell a range of important everyday items like shoes, eyewear, and bags. But, the similarity with normal businesses ends here. For every pair of shoes, or eyewear, or bag that you purchase another one of these items will be given to a person who is in need of it. This is what it means to be a social business.
Formally speaking, a social business is a business which is created and designed to solve a business problem. It is a profit generating entity, which does not depend on donations. It is self-sufficient. However, the profits generated are used to cover the social activities rather than being given out as dividends to the shareholders, or they are reinvested into the business to expand the overall outreach.
TOMS is one of the most successful social businesses out there. Since, their inception they have provided more than 50 million shoes to children all over the world. But, this isn’t all. They have further helped 360,000 people to recover their eyesight via eyewear and surgeries since 2011. And last but not the least, they have provided over 250,000 weeks of safe water to impoverished communities in Africa and other regions of the world.
A Brief History
TOMS was set up back in 2006 by serial entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie. If the stories are to be believed, the whole thing was unintentional. It was while competing in The Amazing Race that he saw the hardships faced by the local children who ran through the streets without any footwear. As is often the case, he was moved by their plight which often led to serious complications and diseases. It was also there that he first encountered the alpargatas, a type of shoe that would later become the first product of TOMS.
He first saw the local polo players using it. Intrigued he tried a pair himself and liked them so much that he wanted to develop some for the US markets. The first batch only consisted of 250 pairs. But, the overall demand was such that the company had sold 10,000 pairs by six months. True to his intentions, 10,000 additional pairs were distributed to 10,000 children in Argentina. They have come a long way from there, with multiple ventures benefiting many different communities.
Simplicity in the form of a contrasting theme with a white background is all that their website is about. It has been made to simultaneously present their products to the world in an effective manner and to highlight their humanitarian efforts. The central design revolves around a beautiful collage of their products and the effects of their CSR measures. The main categories featured on the top bar include Shop, How We Give, and Our Tribe. This is followed by brief sections on Shoes, Eyewear, and Bags, three of their main products. Incidentally, these are also the things which spearhead their humanitarian campaigns. At the bottom is the section which can be found in every website, the one containing company information, policies, customer service, and social media page links.
The main categories are further divided to enhance the overall browsing experience. It also makes the desired items easier to locate because of the overall structural familiarity. A search bar, placed strategically at the top right side of every webpage, will provide you with quick access to desired items when you are in a hurry. The product descriptions are short and to the point, making the overall decision making process faster and easier. Once, you enter one of the main categories there are further options to refine the displayed items. These options include featured shops, shop by style, and filters such as Basics, Vegan, Exclusives, Wedding, Size, and Color.
As stated earlier, overall the products can be divided broadly into three main categories: Shoes, Eyewear, Bags, and a fourth one include Apparel and Accessories. Let us go through them briefly to form an opinion of the overall style, quality, and assortment available for different customers.
This section was their first product. Although, they started primarily with the Alpargatas, their collection has since diversified to include almost all the common styles available anywhere else in the market. Shoes are available for women, men, and even kids.
The Women’s Collection is extraordinary in its range of different products. Not only will you find all the basic types of shoes here, but they are also available in a whole range of different colors. The main categories are:
|Classic Alpargatas||Espadrilles||Slip on Shoes|
|Sandals||Booties||Mules and Clogs|
In this review, we have yet to touch upon the basic question: What are Alpargatas? They are basically easy going slip on shoes. Inspired from what Blake saw in Argentina, these have a classic suede insole and a one-piece rubber outer sole. This makes them comfortable yet durable. The V is elastic, making them easier to put on and take off. They have been the foundation of TOMS and have sold successfully since the inception. On TOMS, they are available in practically every color imaginable, except for perhaps Vantablack. But, we are not sure you would want a pair in that color. Imagine losing them in the dark and never being able to find them.
They are of course available in all sizes. If you are in between sizes, then it would be best to take the smaller size, as they stretch out a bit after breaking in.
Rest of the Collection
The rest of the collection also has some really fabulous and chic designs, which will suit a range of different women, from all walks of life. However, we are now forever entrapped by the comfort and beauty of the simple yet elegant Alpargatas.
The Men’s Section has a very similar arrangement and style. You can buy the following here:
|Classic Alpargatas||Slip on Shoes||Sneakers|
|New Arrivals||Best Sellers||Exclusives|
The men’s alpargatas do not possess a unique structure of their own. They have a sort of androgynous feel to them. However, the designs are where you will find the difference. Whereas, the women’s designs featured more vibrancy, this aspect is overall a bit sober in the men’s collection. That is not to say you won’t be finding any vibrant colors or flowery designs for a day at the beach, on the contrary, you will find a whole range that is made just for that. In conclusion, the collection will satisfy most enthusiasts.
Rest of the Collection
The rest of the collection is adequate as well. Whether you are looking of a pair of brogues, or dress shoes, or just a pair of sandals, they have it all.
The basic purpose behind launching their eyewear products was to bring their One for One to the eyewear field. For every pair of glasses that you purchase a person in need will get a free pair too. This does not mean that you will be doing it for charity alone. It is a business which has propelled itself through fashion shows and gaining attention with the celebrities. So, you can be sure that if celebrities like Charlize Theron can find their designs interesting enough to include in their repertoire, then they have a basic level of panache to suit anyone. Their designs have a vivacity that will court you and in time you will come to love them like nothing else. You do not have to be a fashionista to see that, it is plain for all to see.
So, the range covers the basics like Aviators, Archie, Maverick and countless others.
This is another one of their major products. They launched their bags with the objective that for every bag sold; you will be helping a mother safely give birth in one of the developing countries. We are amazed by their selection of bags available for sale. We may be a bit biased in it, but we just loved their messenger and duffel bags. What is amazing is that they have these absolutely fabulous products that are not only competitively priced, but you will at the same time be helping some underprivileged people around the world. Apart from the aforementioned styles, they have the regular tote, clutches, handbags, and others as well.
If you want to be inspired by the stories of the people that they have helped or you just want to stay updated with the company news and new ventures, their blog is the absolute best place to do that. It is well-managed and regularly updated. It is divided into sections such as Culture, Giving, Inspiration, Movember, etc. If you do go there, we would recommend reading their article titled: On the Ground: Fighting Poverty with Children.
Just have a look at the following video for more inspiration:
Payments, Customer Service, and Social Media
They maintain a secure website and accept a whole range of different payment options, which includes the world famous Visa and MasterCard, along with the online system PayPal. Placing an order is easy and shipping is available to most regions of the world. If you are unsure, then it is recommended that you read up on their detailed shipping policy just to be sure.
The returns policy spans 60 days and for continental US orders, there is a free return UPS shipping label which customers can use to return any unused orders. The refund can be made to the original payment method or it can be credited to your TOMS store credit. You have the option to choose.
Customer service is the crux of any online operation. It acts as the bridge between the company and its customers. Their customer service is well-versed in the art of resolving issues quickly. You can contact them in case of any problems. Being trained for the job, they will solve them ASAP. Reach them via phone and email.
Social media, on the other hand, will provide a less formal way of contact. You can share your thoughts and overall feedback via their social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google +.
For us this company is the epitome of what businesses can achieve if they are just socially responsible. Generating profit is good, but if you can help someone in the world as well, then that is the best thing possible. However, the great thing is that even if we were to evaluate them solely for their products and competitive pricing, they would still come out at the top: comparable to other giants such as Nike, Converse, American Eagle, and Backcountry, in their respective departments of course. So, we rate them among the A+ companies listed on our site.
Coupons and Benefits
This company is close to our heart due to its humanitarian background and if you are encumbered by the cost of things, then we would like to help you out by giving you access to some exclusive TOMS.com April 2016 coupon codes. We will help you to help the world. These TOMS.com April 2016 promo codes will help to reduce the price, but they will still help you to provide them with enough money to contribute to one of their causes. But, alas, like all other coupons, they have a weakness: they are issued for a limited period of time. Nevertheless, if you use them soon it will not matter.
How to use them
- Go to the website and select the items you wish to purchase, adding them to the bag one by one.
2. Click the bag icon when you are done, to come to the summary page.
3. Click PayPal or Checkout Now. Enter the details and come to Payment.
4. Here you will find the Enter Promo Code under Order Summary.
5. Copy the code from Rebateszone, click Apply, and the page will refresh to display the adjusted prices.
6. Continue, if you are satisfied, and follow their instructions to complete the transaction.
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