toriathegadjeslayer posted a good article about this. The thing is TOMS is not a charity organization. It is a for profit organization. I repeat a FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATION. For every pair you buy they donate one to a kid in “need” in Africa. There are several problems with this:
- TOMS run for about $50-$60. You are paying the price of both pairs of shoes. They charge you twice as much and make twice the money under the pretense of being a charity.
- They are perpetuating the myth that children in Africa can be saved by the white guilt/white savior complex
- How the fuck is having a free pair of shoes supposed to improve these children lives? Answer: it’s not. Being given free shoes does not change that fact that these kids are poor. They don’t need motherfucking shoes they need clean water, food, quality education, job opportunities, leadership training, mentors, books, internet access, laptops, etc.
- They are perpetuating the myth that all Africans are helpless, poor, and desperate. Like everyone lives in small wooden dwellings and has to catch rainwater in buckets to be able to shower. This is not true. The majority of Africans live in large cities that look just like Chicago or New York. They have running water and electricity and shoes and they even have fancy western luxuries like Facebook. I have numerous friends from Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya who have explained that where they are from they are considered upper middle class, wealthy even. But by Western standards they are considered poor.
- In short it is rude, racist, and naive to assume that Africans
A. Are poor and can’t afford “Western” luxuries
B. Want western luxuries and western lifestyles. Some people are perfectly content to live their traditional nomadic lifestyles and catch rainwater and not wear shoes.
C. Can be saved from the poverty caused by colonialism, capitalism and institutionalized racism by receiving a pair of overpriced shoes.
This forgot the most important part: TOMS ARE MADE IN ETHIOPA UNDER “LOCAL LABOR STANDARDS” FOR SOMEWHERE AROUND 50 CENTS A PAIR, WHICH MEANS THERE’S A PRETTY DAMN GOOD CHANCE THAT THE GROSSLY OVERPRICED (FAIRLY HIDEOUS) SHOES YOU’RE WEARING WERE PROBABLY MADE BY THE SAME CHILDREN YOU THINK YOU’RE HELPING.
nappyedges: WHAT WHAT WHAT?!!!! I didn’t know that. I really shouldn’t be surprised. A quick google search shows that TOMS are made in China, Eithiopia, and Argentina. (You have to click product and sizing questions and then where are TOMS made) Helping children with child labor. The ultimate fail.
Reblogging for additional commentary, and also to add:
Hey, check out this awesome alternative to TOMS. Not only are they operated much better and are Fair Trade-certified, they were also started by and for Ethiopians.
Also their shoes are not fugly like TOMS.
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