Happy Feet are Giving Feet
If you've been reading my Blog for a while it won't be news to you that in recent years my social conscience has been giving me quite a bit of grief about the global implications and lasting effects of some of our day to day practices. This has led to many changes in our family life, from giving up eating meat in our home, to reducing our plastic usage, to striving to only buy clothes from ethical retailers.
Narrowing down the places we buy clothes to those few we know are taking their responsibilities seriously, not only to their customers, but to their employees and the environment too, hasn't been too difficult. The Good Shopping Guide produce a handy list of high street stores and gives each a ranking. Even if you don't feel you can limit yourself to the handful on the "good" list, I think most of us can resist the brands on the "no" list. We used to shop at most of them regularly, but we try our best not to anymore. I have now realised that clothes that I can buy that cheap come at far too high a price for the people who make the clothes.
However, when it comes to footwear it has been a difficult change to make. When you try to find ethical retailers of footwear you find yourself with little to no choice, especially for children. The focus of ethical fashion is all too often for adults, and it seems to overlook the fact that our children care who's making their shoes too.
Enter Toms, to save the day. I have been aware of Toms shoes for a number of years now, and have long admired their policy of "one for one." They actually give away a pair of shoes to someone in need for each pair you buy. A revolutionary idea in our capitalist culture that more often than not asks what we can get rather than what we can give.
Having purchased a pair of Toms for myself earlier in the year, I quickly fell in love with how comfortable they are and how diverse too. I'm not one for high heels or "smart" shoes so being able to turn up to photograph a wedding in a pretty dress and my super comfy Toms has been miraculous for my little tired feet that would probably fall off if I tried to squeeze them into heels!
So when Toms asked us to try out some of their latest Children's range I was very excited, had we just found a solution to our lack of good, and ethical, footwear for our children?
When the shoes arrived I had 3 very happy children, not only did they fall in love with the gorgeous shoes but they were so comfy too, they didn't want to take them off. And when I told them that for each pair of shoes bought Toms would give a pair away they were genuinely in awe and seemed so happy to have played a small role in helping other children.
Sometimes we want to shelter our children from the harsh realities of our world. It's upsetting for them, (and us too) to think there are people that don't have shoes, something so basic that we take for granted. But I believe it is our responsibility to educate our children about this world we inhabit, and hopefully I can raise them not only with open eyes, but also with hearts full of empathy, in order that they might effect change.
If you love the idea of "One for One", and why wouldn't you? Toms offers a wide range of other products that in turn give "one for one" have a little look here to see the many ways they give back. So you can not only treat yourself but help someone else at the same time. Guilt free shopping at it's finest! And with such a wide range of gorgeous footwear you'll be spoilt for choice.
The shoes in this Blog post were gifted to us by Toms, but the opinions here are my own.
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