When Blake Mycoskie founded TOMS seven years ago, he never imagined the shoe company’s one-for-one model would take off the way it has. “It has been the most surreal experience in the world for me,” he told InStyle.com “It’s exciting, but never did I expect to see a company like Procter and Gamble doing one-for-one diapers.”
Given the momentum of the one-for-one model and the enormous success TOMS has seen, Mycoskie felt like it was time for the company to give back in a different way—this time, by helping new brands following in TOMS’ charitable footsteps. And so today, the company launched its first-ever Marketplace, a collection of over 200 products from 30 companies featuring everything from jewelry and scarves to bikes and headphones, which all give back to communities around the world. “Every single product has a purpose,” Mycoskie says. To wit, the items pictured above, from left to right: Krochet Kids' Sierra Scarf, which helps lift women out of poverty; Shadow Knot Spark necklace by 31 Bits, which helps women in Uganda; the Zahara Tote by Cleobella, which employs local artists in Bali; Pride & Prejudice women's tee by Out of Print, which donates books with every purchase; and a three-pack of brown bracelets by The Base Project, which aids artisans all over the world.
The Marketplace—where you can shop by cause, region benefited, or product—launched specifically in time for the holidays (“People love giving a gift that has more of a purpose,” Mycoskie said) and will operate like any fashion retailer with spring, summer, fall, and holiday collections. But even as the products and companies featured change, Mycoskie said the purpose of the Marketplace will remain the same: to use business to improve people’s lives.