TOMS is where I first understood the complexities of sustainable social impact. It’s where I realized that every business has the ability to do good and do well — it just comes down to how committed you are to the cause. Not only does this truly affect the way people live, it creates consumer loyalty, unparalleled employee engagement, and sustainable profitability. It’s also just the right thing to do.
The biggest challenge at TOMS was to authentically grow and sustain the brand’s Giving Program at the same rate as its commercial growth. Over the span of three years, I built the largest gift-in-kind supply chain in developing countries, putting shoes on the feet of over 30 million kids. This was achieved through a three-prong approach: the use of technology to help us follow kids living in transient communities, their growth, and different needs for footwear during the rainy and dry seasons; partnering with NGOs to support the implementation of our various programs and their quality; developing regional manufacturing in Argentina, Ethiopia, and Haiti to reduce supply chain lead time and create local jobs to support the economy.