TOMS shoes is known for its “one for one” philosophy, in which the brand donates a pair of their canvas slip-ons to a person in need of shoes for each pair purchased. Now TOMS is kicking things up a notch with a new campaign that doesn’t even require purchase to help. Instead, all TOMS asks is that you post a photo of your bare feet to Instagram with the hashtag #withoutshoes.
The initiative, called One Day Without Shoes, lasts from now until May 21. According to a study cited on the TOMS website, providing a child with shoes as part of their school uniform can increase school attendance by up to 62%. The campaign also cites the 1.3 billion children without regular access to healthcare services, who are susceptible to illnesses that can be transmitted through bare feet. As the blog Fashionista explains, TOMS hopes to raise awareness about the importance of shoes by asking the public to spend time without them. The campaign has existed for eight years, but this is the first time that TOMS has donated shoes with no purchase required.
Founder Blake Mycoskie told Fashionista that he wanted to give people a chance to “do something good without having to buy [anything].” A pair of TOMS retails anywhere from $31 on sale to $129. The company is prepared to give away up to 1 million pairs, and they’ve got over 11,500 #withoutshoes photos on Instagram so far.
Good for TOMS for taking their corporate responsibility to the next level. (And here’s hoping that dudes with foot fetishes have a lot of #withoutshoes material from now until May 21.) Let’s help some kids!