Thursday, July 14, 2011

TOMS Burning Candle at Both Ends

Many of us in the barefooting movement have done considerable research on TOMS, “Inc.” and believe that founder Blake Mycoskie exemplifies the very worst of capitalism. Many people mistakenly think his for-profit company is a charity. His method of tugging on people’s heartstrings to make a buck (or a million) has been blogged about before [1], but now Blake has sunk to a new low. His “charity” has always been implicitly (if not explicitly) Christian. I personally heard the man speak at a Catalyst Conference several years ago where he attested to the Christian impetus behind his work. For those who don’t know, Catalyst is self-described as “the leadership filter for what’s next in the church” and is one of the largest annual gatherings of Christian leaders in the United States. Mycoskie is slated to speak at the conference again this year in October.

But it seems that Mycoskie is just as disingenuous with his religious principles as he is in business and is now caught with his candle burning at both ends. The founder of TOMS appeared at an event hosted by Focus on The Family to lure them into a distribution partnership, but when his friends on the left discovered this they balked. Subsequently, Mycoskie apologized for rubbing elbows with Focus! He said, “Had I known the full extent of Focus on the Family’s beliefs, I would not have accepted the invitation to speak at their event." The extent of their beliefs is that they focus on the traditional family. Of course Mycoskie, a member of Mosaic church in LA, knows fully the beliefs of Focus. His appearance and subsequent “apology” only demonstrate that Mycoskie is happy to play on both sides of the fence in order to sell, er, donate, another shoe.

Well, Mycoskie, your Christian charity has been busted for not being a charity, and now you're busted for not being Christian. Eventually, you’re going to run out of wax.

PS. A Day Without Dignity is a great video about why “charities” like TOMS are bad for local economies.

1.References:

4 comments:

  1. OMG thanks for this. I've seen TOMS shoes a few places when I was back in the US and the whole thing made my skin crawl. They're marketed at the leftyist shops (a head shop in Ashland, OR, for example, a vegetarian coop in SF) and they are such overpriced garbage, I was shocked. But then when I saw the whole "charity" aspect, it made me ill. Africans don't need your shoes, people. They really, really don't.

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  2. You should be ashamed of yourself and your immaturity as a Christian for "busting" someone "for not being Christian." Stay focused. Keep your feet on the ground.

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  3. Ricky, I wasn't "busting" them for not being Christian, I was busting them for their hypocrisy.

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  4. I think we can all agree they don't need our shoes. What I'd like to know is if anyone's doing anything else significant. Don't they deserve infrastructure, and the knowledge they need to grow their own food and educate their children, with freedom from oppression or tyranny? Or is that just middle class white American kids that deserve those things? I just found this website and was so excited about the information. I thought FINALLY someone with good science. Someone who maybe took a bio stats class in college and actually knows what it means. But here we are, casting the first stone. They might not need our shoes, but at least TOMS gives them our attention. That's a start, and it's better than nothing.

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