The Topic Background: TOMS Shoes
TOMS Shoes, founded in 2006, was the product of Blake Mycoskie’s vision to give shoes to impoverished children in developing countries; for every pair of shoes TOMS sells, they give a pair to a child in need. The one-for-one idea is the major selling point for the for-profit company, rewarding buyers with a sense of pride that they are, in theory, helping someone in need. The company claims that these children need shoes to protect their feet from the diseases contracted from walking barefoot in undeveloped countries, as well as to be allowed to attend school. As of 2012, TOMS shoes has given away over one million pairs of shoes in forty countries, including the United States.
My Working Thesis
TOMS Shoes, while intending to help those in need, does more harm than good. Through the donation of shoes to developing countries, TOMS dismantles the local shoe market and undermines self-reliance; through sales tactics, TOMS gives customers a chance to pay indulgences and boast their altruism. The company also performs these services poorly through poorly made footwear that neither supports the foot or ankle nor holds up under standard use and unreasonably high prices.
The recipients of these shoes often may be too impoverished to purchase shoes and shoes are a requirement of many schools in order to attend. It is better to have shoes than not to.
(Some) Topics For Smaller Papers:
TOMS shoes, on average, last roughly 3-6 months with moderate, daily use. That is less than a full year of school, requiring two pairs per child per year. Inclusively, that is by usage in America by average wearers who may not have to walk miles each day back-and-forth to school, as well as while playing outside. So, with that in mind, a pair of TOMS shoes may last even less than 3 months on a child’s feet in an impoverished country. On top of all of that, TOMS shoes offer no arch nor ankle support, leaving wearers prone to injure themselves more often than they would wearing standard athletic sneakers. The treads also wear down quite quickly, leaving a smooth, slippery sole to compliment the thin layer of canvas protecting the wearer’s foot.
If TOMS shoes do last 6 months, then each child would require 2 pairs per year. That means that for every child in need of a pair of shoes, TOMS would have to sell 2 pairs per year. That places a huge weight on the shoulders of TOMS and its consumers who desire to cure the global barefoot epidemic.
Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? Or, in this case, why pay for shoes when you can get them for free? TOMS takes away business from all involved in the shoe industry in its benefiting countries. The factories that create the materials used for shoes, the factories that make the shoes, and the venders that sell the shoes all lose business and financial stability, forcing them to seek new occupations and creating even more poverty.
Current State Of Research Paper
I have acquired and perused four sources in support of my thesis, but still have to locate sources of counterarguments. I am aware of, and beginning to plan rebuttals against, many of the counterarguments that exist.