Are TOMs shoes vegan? While they are quite popular (especially given their socially conscious image), some buyers might want to wear vegan shoes. TOMs shoes are stylish and comfortable, but are they also free from animal products?
Not all TOMs shoes are vegan. However, they do have a special vegan collection of footwear. This is great, as TOMs shoes is known for being a fantastic corporate citizen. If you select from their vegan collection, you can get shoes that fit well and fit your ideals. TOMs shoes are stylish and are affordable as well.
What are Vegan Shoes?
Keeping up with modern trends is sometimes hard and some people might not understand what vegan products are. Vegan products don’t contain animal derived materials such as wool, leather or suede. There’s no animal skin or fur. The shoes are made of other materials.
Why is this? Some people believe that animals (particularly cows, whose skin is used for leather) are quite smart and using their body parts for footwear is cruel. Not using animal products is a minor inconvenience. In fact, it’s very difficult to tell the difference between regular footwear and vegan products just by looking at them. You don’t sacrifice much to be kinder to animals.
There are other benefits as well. Vegan products are significantly more eco-friendly. Animal derived materials tend to be intensive on the environment. Raising cows for leather and other materials tends to be harsh on the land. Moving around all the feed, fertilizer and animals consumes a lot of gas. Farming uses a lot of resources. Their waste pollutes bodies of water and land.
Additionally, leather tanneries can be devastating on local environments. The chemicals used to treat cow skin is very powerful and can be ruinous if not disposed of properly. The tanneries are often located in countries with poor safety and health regulations.
By buying vegan, you accomplish several things. You helped save a cow’s life and greatly reduced your eco footprint.
How do I know if its Vegan?
Remember, not all TOMs shoes are vegan. But they do have a special collection for both men and women which are.
First, use your common sense. If it’s regular leather shoes, it’s obviously not vegan. If you’re on the website, you can check the product description. They’ll mention if its leather or suede leather. Unfortunately, this might eliminate a pair of footwear you want to buy.
If you’re in the store, check if there’s a vegan sign on it. That’s the easiest way and if it’s there you’ll be completely sure.
If things are unclear, you can contact the company through the support page. TOMs shoes is known for having great customer support. Their support desk is available by phone (pacific time hours), online chat and even twitter. Some people might prefer voice while others a quick online chat. Either way, TOMs has you covered.
TOMs Vegan Collection
While you might be happy to hear that TOMs has a vegan collection, you might be concerned with how big it is. Fortunately, there’s a decent sized collection. As of this writing, there are 79 pieces of footwear. There are shoes for both men and women, youth and adult. They range from pink Alpargata Botanical Lace to Heritage Canvas shoes in eight colors. It includes their classic canvas shoes with spring prints such as pineapples and bananas. Some of them are even on sale.
These vegan shoes use materials such as synthetic fabrics, sustainable cotton and mesh. These materials are far more sustainable to the environment than animal-derived products such as leather and wool.
However, be careful. Some TOMs shoes use leather or suede. It would be a shame to want to buy a vegan product but end up with something that isn’t.
TOMs Corporate Social Responsibility
TOMs was founded in 2006 by entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie. The company was instantly famous for its innovative “one for one” policy. For every pair of shoes sold, it would donate a pair to an emerging market. Free pairs of shoes have been donated to Haiti, India, China, Argentina, Ethiopia and Kenya. 86 million shoes have been donated.
However, the company has gotten some flack from critics saying that it doesn’t address the problem. The shoes will last a few years but what about afterwards. Some people feel it’s not a great policy because it doesn’t attack the cycle of poverty.
Additionally, it can actually create a problem because in some ways it creates unemployment. Local shoe industries suffer when there is a free alternative around.
TOMs and sustainability
Sustainability has always been a big goal of TOMs. This includes a reduced carbon dioxide footprint, sustainable cotton, packaging that is green, recycled PU, and green EVA outsoles.
TOMs has worked with Save the Children since 2011 to improve the lives of children both in the US and globally. There are giving trip experiences and event participation to boost employee engagement.
There are other socially conscious initiatives. These include donating prescription, medical treatment for the eyes and other eye ware purchases.
There’s a lot to like about TOMs shoes. They’re stylish, environmentally sustainable, they fit well and the company is a great corporate citizen. Vegans will be overjoyed to learn that they sell vegan shoes as well. Just be sure to properly check if the shoes you’re purchasing is actually vegan as many of the shoes they sell aren’t.