Christmas is a time for giving and not just to family and friends. TOMS opens the doors to its GIVE Shop; an experiential event held at The Old Truman Brewery where guests are taken on a journey of Giving. With TOMS core message being GIVE, this is the perfect union to showcase to guests the true meaning of their motto this time of year.
The space includes five major areas, all with an interactive and fun element throughout. These include:
GIVE Craft: A DIY craft area where visitors can create homemade Christmas cards and visit the wrapping station to add a personal touch to those much anticipated gifts.
GIVE Smiles: This particular space lets you hold onto those fond memories we all cherish. Jump into the photo booth where you can take pictures with your loved ones and share them with your friends and family via social media, email or text.
GIVE Knowledge: Books help us to build our spirit, use our imagination and most importantly, GIVE information. This space is created entirely from recycled books and includes a lounge where guests can sit and read, plus the opportunity to bring an old book and exchange it for another.
GIVE Creativity: A hub of talent, the GIVE Creativity area will showcase live music on stage with up and coming artists, including holding creative workshops that help GIVE back.
GIVE Market: A retail area hosted by Jaguar Shoes Collective. This space allows customers to support local artisans: three local craftspeople with a similar ethos to TOMS with be selling their work alongside the TOMS' GIVE Sight and GIVE Shoes ranges.
The GIVE Shop is open to the public from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th December.
Friday 14 th December - Jigsaw Piece Workshop with Sarah Corbett 11am-3pm, Damon Valentine performs at 4.30pm.
Saturday 15th December - Pop-up Christmas Card Workshop with Helen Friel 11am-3pm, Being There perform at 4.30pm.
Sunday 16th December - Comic-Style Printing Workshop with Joe Kessler 11am-3pm, Flight Brigade perform at 3pm and Rufio Summers performs at 4.30pm.
It's that time of year again when the country's men attempt to sprout a moustache all in the name of charity. Movember returns, bigger and better, raising funds for prostate and testicular cancer. Established in 2003, Movember is now, literally, on everybody's lips come November time. Raising an amazing £79.3 million in 2011, this year it is in 21 countries around the world and aims to better that. A whole range of brands have brought out complimentary product to support and raise funds, so if you're not taking part, how about opting for one of these Movember items or buying one for somebody you know who is?
If you want to take part, register here - www.movember.com
Left - Kent Brushes - Movember Moustache Comb - £4.50 - £2 going to Movember
Below - Becksondergaard - Danish accessory brand produces this humourous scarf - £68 - 20% donated to Movember
Eleven Paris - French brand produces this lion's head T-shirt - £45 - 20% donated to Movember
Left - Penhaligon's - Moustache Wax - £2 from every tin goes to Movember
Below - Links of London - 10% of retail price goes to Movember
You want to be respectful and make the effort but you don’t to be drowning in sweat or look dishevelled the minute you leave your room. The trick is to keep it light and simple and have one item, like a double-breasted jacket, which dresses it up. Play around with accessories like pocket squares or lightweight scarves. Think Englishman abroad - ‘Room With A View Chic' with the Panama hat.
Left - Hackett SS 12
Rick Taylor - Bold Stripe Jacket - £295
KG Kurt Geiger - Milan - £110
TOMS - Classic 101 - £110
Etro - Printed Silk Pocket Square - £55
Liberty London Collection - Pale Blue Chinos - £115
It’s tempting to call him Tom. But I won’t. Blake Mycoskie, TOMS ‘Chief Shoe Giver’, is here at Selfridges to launch TOMS’ new range of eyewear.
The man behind over 2 million pairs of shoes being given to children in need, has now turned his attention to eyes.
Dressed in the typical LA uniform of denim shirt and jeans, Blake has the long hair, golden tan and beads of a do-gooder, but without the annoying dreamer qualities. His Texan drawl is thoughtful, straight-talking and down-to-earth, with the ample levels of American optimism that we sometimes wish us Brits would have.
If you don’t know the TOMS story, it started when Blake was traveling in Argentina in 2006. Blake witnessed the problems of children growing up without shoes. He took the simple, fabric ‘alpargata’ shoe he saw all over Argentina back to the US and every one he sold meant he could gift a child with a new pair of shoes. TOMS stands for ‘Tomorrow’s Shoes’ and isn’t named after anybody.
“A lot of people call me Tom, I just answer.” says Blake almost embarrassed by it.
TOMS is changing from a shoe company to a ‘one-for-one’ company with the launch of the eyewear. For each pair of the new range of six stylish sunglasses sold, somebody, somewhere will be offered medical treatment, eye surgery or prescription glasses.
“This is the first place outside the states we’ve launched. The UK is our second biggest market and we’ve seen the success of the shoes really taking off here. We first launched the eyewear in the US last June and we really wanted to get through the summer there and work out the kinks before we tried it anywhere else.” he says.
Each of the new glasses feature a distinctive stripe detail on the arms. “I worked with one of my best friends thinking through this striping concept. What the stripes signify is the idea that the front part of the glasses protects your eyes from the sun, you’re purchasing them, and the bright stripe on the back represents the person you’ve given sight to. The white stripe in the middle is TOMS, which brings the two people together. We wanted people to talk about the one-for-one concept and do it in the design. We wanted them to standout on their own in terms the quality and craftsmanship of the glasses but the same time share the story of what we are doing.”
These aren’t the charity option and could easily stand up against any of the current designer sunglasses in terms of design and quality. Unlike some philanthropic endeavors, which give a percentage to charity and doesn’t really mean much to the consumer, TOMS one-for-one clearly means your purchase has an impact. But how do they get the pricing right to work this way?
“Obviously the cost of surgery is a lot more than prescription glasses. We work with an organisation called Seva and they give us their budget for, say, Nepal Eye Hospital and we align our pricing metrics based on what their needs are, based on the people that come into the clinic. We’ve done a pretty good job since June being exactly on. We allow for more surgeries than actually end up happening.”
What’s next for TOMS?
“Nothing is in the pipeline now. The way that the glasses and eyewear came about was me just learning about how these cataract surgeries are being done in rural areas. I think we’re really going to focus on this for the next 24 months and then think what else could we do using the one-for-one model. It’s really important we get this right before moving onto anything else.”
What would you say to cynics who are bored of the whole ethical/environmental thing?
“I think it might be less of a purchase motivator than it was maybe a few years ago. But at the same time, there is a certain group of youth, that, because they’ve experienced this, they almost demand it in all products. So if anything, it may be getting stronger as this youth gets into more purchasing power and adulthood. We have really stepped up our game on looking at products. Now we have really great looking boots at a really great price. We’ve evolved the product line, people will like the ‘bonus’ of what we do from a philanthropic standpoint but they want a good product. These glasses are Made in Italy. We want to compete based on price, quality and design and have the giving as the bonus. That little bonus will stick with you for a long time."
How do you find out what people want?
"There are people in my company who are really looking at the colours and trends, this and that. We try to not to follow that stuff too closely otherwise our shoes start looking like everybody else’s. We do our own thing and hope it works. Some it will and some it won’t."
How do you cope with having such a big company now?
"I’m pretty lucky, I can delegate, the company has kind of grown up with what I call MBA - Management By Absence. They have to self manage, and they’ve done really good. I’m going to give a lot of creative direction but I’m not going to give a lot of day to day direction."
See the new glasses here