Thursday, April 02, 2009

Think Big. Then Think Bigger. Then Do It.

Greed has got to go. It isn't working for us, and by us I mean you and me. So much about fashion is ego, which is the basis for greed. How do I look? How do I get what I want? I want that. I want it now. So how do we turn a greed-based industry into something sustainable, something that won't bubble and bust and boom and doom? Maybe the answer is to think of others. Toms Shoes, the dream realized by entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie is a company that was started not to sell shoes, but to give them away. On a hot shot polo-playing adventure to Argentina he discovered that the children in the impoverished areas surrounding his tawny polo grounds had no shoes. They were either barefoot or stumbling around in tattered ill-fitting sneaks. So, he started a company that sold traditional Argentinian alpagata shoes, with a twist. For every pair his company sold, he gave away a pair of alpagatas to people who needed them. One for one. Here, watch this video. It tells the story and shares the love.

Something in my cynical American mind says that there must be something up here, that maybe the profit margin is still too huge, maybe the shoes are made in some skatey way that makes the goodness not so good, but I have found no evidence to those claims. So, I'm going to have faith that the goodness is good. I think my generation's snarky cynicism is aiding and abetting the greedy boom bust atmosphere anyway. I want to start a new trend: earnestness. Not cool, right? But so important. Believe that good can be, let it be, and it will be. Simple. Good. Yay. Toms! Buy one, give one.

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