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A fashion critique on the business model, but not the product. Now there’s something new. I hope to see more people question the purpose of the business before even getting to questioning the product.

“More than anything, the company’s model offers relatively affluent consumers the opportunity to feel like they are helping others, while, in actuality, they are shopping for themselves.”

I can relate to some arguments in this story. The part about us northerners feeling better for consuming. However, I don’t think that the one to one model is so severely to be criticized because it creates self-depreciation in the developing world. I don’t see a paternalistic approach by Toms on the contrary they are very aware of that potential faux-pas.

“Donations like these do little to address the root causes of poverty and may actually cause harm by reducing demand for locally produced goods.Yes, the children get their shoes. But at its root, the “one to one” model is a piece of marketing that actually depends upon the persistence of poverty. But the ultimate irony is that companies like Toms commit the very crime they are trying to erase, taking a paternalistic stance towards the societies they are supposed to be helping.”

via Op-Ed | The Problem with One-for-One Models – BoF – The Business of Fashion.

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