BOGO, or buy-one-get-one free, is a common sales tactic used to get customers to purchase products. But several companies are putting a charitable twist on this old technique with a buy-one-give-one philosophy.
This one-for-one movement is sweeping the nation, and TOMS Shoes has been one of its biggest champions.
“The initial reason I bought TOMS was because I had read [Blake Mycoskie’s] book,” said Marc Osborn, a junior illustration student and TOMS shoe owner.
In 2006, Blake Mycoskie founded TOMS after he saw the struggles of Argentinean children growing up without shoes. Shoes are a major commodity in many developing countries and wearing them can help prevent soil-transmitted diseases as well as injuries and infections. They can also help children get an education because they are often a required part of many communities’ school uniforms.
For every pair sold, TOMS, a name derived from the original concept Shoes for Tomorrow, gives a pair of shoes to a child in need. So far, the company has given away more than 1 million pairs.
“If there’s something I can do to help anyone, anywhere, that’s great, but it helps that they’re stylish and comfortable,” said Jenny Mocef, a sophomore metals and jewelry student who owns two pair of TOMS.
While Skechers has copied TOMS’ espadrille with its BOBS line that also gifts a pair, the one-for-one movement is expanding into other product categories. Roma Boots has joined the movement with rain boots, Blanket America with blankets, Smile Squared with toothbrushes and Warby Parker with eyeglasses.
Warby Parker says approximately 1 billion people don’t have access to affordable glasses which can increase a person’s income by 20 percent. Working with non-profit partners, the company’s “Buy a pair, Give a pair,” philosophy has already distributed 85,000 glasses to people in need.
“I think anybody is willing to donate if there’s a give and take, but I also believe that most people who do charity do it because they want to help,” said Osborn.
These companies are proving that no matter what your style is, giving to those in need is always fashionable.Contact Ingela Hartman.