The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel

As more and more students on campus don spiffy TOMS, I feel that I should raise a question: Do they know what they are supporting? TOMS Shoes is not truly serious about alleviating shoelessness around the world.

If they were serious about what they preach, they would donate the entirety of their profits and create a social business.

Better yet, they could buy locally. Shoes in developing countries cost less than a dollar due to foreign donations from companies such as Goodwill and The Salvation Army that flood markets and drown local producers. Imagine a shoe company that for each pair you buy, delivers 35 pairs to poor shoeless children.

If they were truly selfless, they would go further, using factories near the people they help rather than their current continental ones. Then they would not only resolve the shoe conundrum that these communities face but also the unemployment and poverty, which creates the shoe problem in the first place.

Unlike many, we are blessed to have the power of choice in what we buy and how our spending impacts the world around us. TOMS Shoes is in fact really concerned about shoeless children around the world, just not enough to give up on the large profit they accumulate. So please be smart and buy smart.

Aurélien Vétil
Economics and Chemistry

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