Woman holding a Dopper Wave pledge
October 23, 2020

A BIG fish just joined our Wave against single-use plastic water bottles. Meet Dopper Wave member TOMS: the shoe company that’s making a difference –one shoe at a time. TOMS has always focused on creating positive impact for people worldwide, and are now extending that impact by taking responsibility for the planet: “We realised that improving lives also includes taking good care of the place we all call home. For humanity to thrive, our planet needs to thrive”, explains Amy Smith, Chief Strategy and Impact Officer at TOMS.

The shoe company that’s making a difference –one shoe at a time

Who doesn’t know TOMS? The business working to improve lives with every pair of shoes sold. When founder Blake Mycoskie went on a trip to Argentina in 2006, he saw the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes: Not only did they miss basic protection, they were also unable to attend school. It was then that Blake came up with the original One for One model: For every pair of TOMS sold, one pair was given away to someone in need. A lot has changed since the inception of TOMS, and so the brand has evolved its giving model to meet the needs of its partner organisations and their communities. Now, TOMS gives 1/3 of profits for projects related to mental health, physical safety, and equal access to opportunity– a more flexible and sustainable way to support the pressing issues of today.

Repurposing 47,000 single-use plastic bottles

But it doesn’t end there. As Amy explains, TOMS understands that “businesses have a major impact on both people and the planet, from the quality of life they provide to their employees to the resources they use.” That’s why they started to rethink the resources they use to create their shoes.

A cool move that led them to a cool material called REPREVE, which is made from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. Since its launch at the beginning of 2020, the TOMS REPREVE capsule has given life to roughly 47,000 plastic bottles. This (very nice!) capsule is an integral part of their wider earth-friendly and appropriately named ‘Earthwise’ collection. As a company that knows a thing or two about fighting plastic pollution, we couldn't be more excited.

  • Amy Smith – Chief Strategy and Impact Officer at TOMS


Preventing plastic pollution

Given the size of the plastic pollution problem and its long-term impact on the environment, it's important to also focus on the root of the problem. That’s why TOMS proudly joined the Dopper Wave, promising to never use single-use plastic water bottles again. (After which we did a little happy dance from our home offices.)

Why sign a pledge to make this change? In the words of Amy: “Faced with global challenges, we realise we can create more meaningful impact by collaborating with like-minded companies such as Dopper.” Well said, if you ask us. For TOMS, joining the Wave has made banning single-use plastic water bottles from its offices, meetings, stores and events much easier. How? By laying the groundwork for a motivating and inspiring internal communication campaign that has educated both staff and distributors on the importance of this promise.

“Focus on progress not perfection”

Speaking of inspiration, we'll leave you with a final insightful quote from Amy: "Finally, I would say (and I remind myself of this every day) - let’s all keep moving toward a better tomorrow. Let’s focus on progress not perfection. If we wait for perfection we will never make any progress. We learn from our mistakes along the way and we improve. It’s challenging and sometimes a little scary to embrace this growth mindset, but I firmly believe it is how we will create a better tomorrow."

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