Toms, sustainable shoes brand

Lizet Wesselman - 02/03/2023

Toms, sustainable shoes brand

Lizet Wesselman - 02/03/2023

Toms might be one of my favourite sustainable brands, even though I (unfortunately) currently don’t own any of their items. So, time to do a deep dive into this brand that has been working on sustainable and ethical projects from the very beginning.

What does Toms sell?

Toms is a shoe brand, although through the years they have added a bunch of accessories as well. So, you can complete your outfit with fitting socks or a beanie for example. The items change often, and they have limited editions from time to time. But their main focus is shoes. Every single type of shoe that you can think of, they’ll have a pair. For kids, men, and women.

What are the sustainable aspects of Toms?

Toms uses sustainable and eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, and vegan leather to create their products. Using a certain amount of these materials can give them the “Earthwise” certification. For the next few years, they are planning to invest even more into this line of products, by making more and more sustainable products and investing in sustainable cotton.

The products are also delivered in recycled and biodegradable materials as their packaging to reduce waste and promote sustainable practices. The packaging consists of at least 80% recycled material and other used materials are from organic forests.

They are also currently working on plans to further reduce their footprint by 2025.

What are the ethical aspects of Toms?

The ethical aspects of Toms are probably the most important ones. However, they are definitely intertwined. Toms operates a One for One program where for every product purchased, they donate a pair of shoes to someone in need. This program supports communities in need and promotes sustainable fashion by reducing waste.

Aside from that, Toms supports community development projects through their Giving Fund, which invests in organizations and initiatives that create positive change in education, health, and well-being. And they organize trips to the communities where they donate shoes. These trips provide an opportunity for Toms employees and customers to witness the impact of their purchases and contribute to positive change.

From the very start of the company, these projects of giving back have been a main focus for Toms. The sustainable aspect of the company makes sure that those people in need, also get to live in a safer environment. So their sustainable efforts are with the exact same people in mind.

Are the products vegan?

Not all of the shoes are vegan, some contain leather or suede. They do only collaborate with companies that are certified by the leather working group, which is making serious steps regarding sustainability. However, the website doesn’t mention anything about animal cruelty and the environmental effects of keeping the animals. 

On the Toms website, at the bottom, you can find the whole list of vegan shoes.

General verdict of Toms

Thanks to their efforts, they are B Corp certified, which means they make a proper effort for sustainability. This has become one of the most important sustainable certificates for businesses worldwide. Every company has a certain score and if this passes 80, you get the B Corp certificate. Toms is currently at 121.5 and are working on increasing that even further. The maximum score is 250, so there’s still progress to be made. But most companies hardly cross 50.

They are also very transparent about their efforts and progress, you can read everything they do on their own website, including year reports. This definitely shows that they actually care because they put the effort into keeping those numbers up to date and sharing them with the public.

For me, Toms was one of the first companies I learned about that was making a proper effort for the communities and environment, so I’ve been a fan for years. Although I currently don’t own any of their products, it’s always been a brand that I just know I can trust to do the right thing for the planet and the people. A company that has a whole program evolving around giving back to those in need, is rare these days and definitely one that should be supported and valued.

Which countries does Toms ship to?

Toms ships to many countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, Australia, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and many others. However, the specific countries that Toms ships to may vary depending on the product and the season. They have country specific websites so check their website to see if your country is available.