Toms shoes, claiming for every pair of shoes bought, they will give one free of charge to a child in need, seems to fall into some of the sins of greenwashing. It sounds all great and dandy, and maybe they really do keep their word, but from the outside looking in, it’s hard to know.
There are three categories of sins of greenwashing that Toms seems to fit into. These include: Sin of a hidden-trade off, sin of no proof and sin of vagueness. This company claims to be doing so much good for society, but at what cost? It seems that their model of “one for one” seems to be a lot for increasing their image and getting the word out about the way they give back. As well as this, Toms doesn’t really seem to release much proof that they are actually following through with this “one for one”. Sure, there are pictures of American men fitting shoes onto poverished looking children, but this could have just been one occasion. There are no actual facts or statistics that back up the fact that Toms really does donate one pair of shoes for every pair bought. Going along with this, Toms is very vague about their business model.
In this article from ecosalon, they deeply investigate Toms motives:
Many companies in the world claim to be doing good for society, but at what cost? It’s our job to investigate and find out if their claims are true before we go and buy their products.