Thursday, 7 June 2012

Ethical Shoes: Toms

One of the reasons for my drastic slow down in posting is that after reading Lucy Siegle's 'To Die For', I promised myself that I'll try to shop ethically - both cutting down the amount I buy and being careful about where I buy it from. So that, combined with 2nd year exams has provided me with a shortage of material :(. But I'm officially making a come back now as I've missed blogging so much. So watch this space.

Ethical shoes (how ever you may define 'ethical') are probably one of the most difficult things to buy, largely because most ethical retailers sell online and I like to be able to try shoes on before buying. I've been looking for some nice summer shoes for a while - ones that can be worn barefoot, something I've always hated doing because well, without socks or tights it feels fundamentally wrong! Please say I'm not the only one... So, Toms, with their breathable canvas uppers and comfortable leather inners, are just about acceptable (they're actually rather amazingly liberating).

I'd count Toms as ethical thanks to their promise to give away one pair of shoes to a 'child in need' every time you buy a pair; 'One for One', as the website states. They are often a required part of school uniform, so giving shoes also means education as well as better health. It's a great cause and one that I am very happy to support!

(I really admire the simplicity of the design!)

Sadie xxx

21 comments:

Lia said...

i love toms too!!!

Katie said...

Hey Sadie!
I've just discovered your blog, literally minutes ago, and I'm not a big follower of fashion but your mission to stock your wardrobe with ethical stuff is really awesome! I commend you! :D
P.S. Loving these Toms!

Laura said...

i've only heard good things about toms, think i should get myself a pair too! and the 'one for one' is such a lovely idea:) x

Sparkly Flamingo said...

I love toms :-) my sister has some gorgeous silver ones! x

sweet harvest moon said...

Love these! I wish it was easier to find them in Europe :(

Emily @ Wardrobe Block said...

Good to see you back! I still need to try out Toms, they always look lovely and comfy too :)

Amy said...

So glad you are back! I wish i owned some Toms... maybe on pay day? @:) x

Kaitlin said...

i totally love toms. i have 2 pairs and have worn them to death so amazing. and they are so extremely comfy!

xo kaitlin
kaitgirl

life/style/flash. said...

I do adore Toms' 'One for One' - did you know they're doing it with sunglasses too?

Katie said...

I really admire that Toms do this, I think its great when brands take responsibility! I find it hard to shop ethically most of the time because of price points mainly, but Toms also don't break the bank. Hope to see you about this summer lovely!

Josie said...

I love that Toms does this and how these shoes are so popular because it means lots of shoes for people in need! xxx

Anonymous said...

something to think about-

http://arielleeliseblog.com/2011/06/the-good-shoe-project/

Esme said...

Ahh, they are lovely and look so comfy. But I agree, buying ethical shoes is a pain, I have gone for buying vintage DMs now because they still have so much wear in them, but Toms are a great idea an I shall defiantly have to invest in a pair- so much better for summer than docs! (:

Harry Pothead said...

Yeah, ethical takes more effort! But the reward of knowing something is being done to make this big ball of earth a slightly better place makes it worth the extra sweat :)

I've got an even bigger problem by disciplining myself to animal-friendly gear....So leather is obv right off my shopping list - the added hassle of buying makes me look after my footwear with a near paternal level of care!

Am currently pondering some of these...

https://essentials.guardianoffers.co.uk/buy.cfm/footwear/mens-casual-shoes/41/no%20/63321&thisShop=8

Anonymous said...

I struggle to see what is ethical about leather.

Harry Pothead said...

@Anonymous: The word 'ethical' means different things to different people. Even if someone buys some products with leather, they may be taking pains to avoid sweat-shop produced garbage like Sadie does (and are therefore doing a lot more to be 'ethical' than most). There are many different shades of 'conscious consumer':

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/interactive/2008/jul/21/ethical.fashion.directory

I'm presuming you're vegetarian/vegan - and of course applaud that choice - but chances are you weren't born or grew up, that way. You made a conscious decision to change, probably after a lengthy period of mulling it over.

Harry Pothead said...

PS Should've added that the ladies' shoes section of the online shop I linked to previously, also has a 2 for 1 offer on!

https://essentials.guardianoffers.co.uk/buy.cfm/footwear/ladies-casual-canvas-shoes/41/yes/64502&thisShop=7

[I don't work for the Guardian btw, haha.]

Anonymous said...

Toms, while a good idea at face value is anything but. It wrecks the local economies of places where free shoes are given away. If you're a local merchant, you can't compete with free. Toms is literally ignorant white people altruism personified.

Sadie's Wardrobe said...

@Anonymous
I'm only at the start of my path into ethical consumerism (or is that an oxymoron in itself??), and obviously have a lot to learn. As far as I understand, there is always something unethical about everything we buy (for environmental reasons), unless it is a complete bare essential, vital to our survival. Obviously, the majority of things we buy are not essential - especially in this big fashion world. I recognise that there are obvious faults with many companies deemed ethical, but would nevertheless prefer to support them over companies that are decidedly unethical. If big business starts to notice consumer activists and recognise the value of their pound, that can only be a good thing.

I'm privileged to have this platform to inpsire others, and obviously now want to be very responsible in the way I use it. As my readership is interested in fashion, that's the focus of my blog. But I hope to be able to inspire my readers to investigate slightly more ethically-sound alternatives to fast fashion.

Whilst it is very very important to appraise companies individually, too much skepticism will never help the growing ethical consumer community. At the very least, companies who try to do good are the best in a given set of alternatives.

Sadie's Wardrobe said...

@Harry Pothead
Thanks for your constant interesting comments!

Harry Pothead said...

Ah, the lady of the house has popped in for a quick tea I see :)

Having now search-engined Toms a bit [I won't say 'Googled', since I haven't trusted them for ages, and to validate my paranoia they've just been busted for millions for trampling right over customers' privacy settings!] I can see why 'Anonymous' is somewhat grumpy about them: there seems to be problematic repercussions there, to put it fairly mildly.

However, perhaps some more tact and affability wouldn't go amiss when commenting on a good-natured blog that clearly has its heart in the right place? I'd surmise that'd be the wise thing to do when trying to nudge things along towards progress and encourage others to join in the 'fight'...Many people seem to sail through their whole lives without giving one solitary toss about the impact of what they buy on others (or the environment); so girls of Sadie's age going out of their way to do the better thing and serve as a good example are nearly as scarce as honest politicians...

Oh, and you're very welcome to the comments Sadie; even if "constant" sounds ever so slightly dodgy, haha ;)