Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms Shoes, has hit on the perfect fund-raising pitch for his shoe-giving charity.
Or is it a perfect sales pitch for his footwear?
The idea has soulful simplicity: for every pair of rubber-soled "alpargatas" shoes Mycoskie sells to the affluent, he gives away a pair to someone who needs it.
In April, he will promote both brand and cause with "One day without shoes," challenging people to go barefoot and feel what it’s like to be among the world’s shoeless. Mycoskie hopes to persuade 300,000 people to participate. So far, 70,000 people have pledged to do it at onedaywithoutshoes.com.
The concept is catchy, like much that Mycoskie does. When it comes to "cause marketing," – the pairing of a product or brand with a social mission – Mycoskie is a pace-setter. At 33, he’s on a national speaking tour, he pals around with Bill Clinton, and his company was recently ranked number six on Fast Company magazine’s list of most innovative retailers.
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(Source: The Wall Street Journal Online)