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  • We all know Toms shoes.

  • Their buy-one-give-one business model has made them massively successful.

  • "What if I start a shoe company, and every time I sold a pair of shoes, I gave a pair away?"

  • I love Tom.

  • Well, there is no Tom. (What?)

  • Oh, no no no, he's just a myth, like Santa Clause.

  • WHAT?


  • I know, I was surprised too.

  • But the real owner of Toms is a guy named Blake MyCoskie.

  • And as noble as Blake's intentions may be, the "buy-one-give-one" model is incredibly misguided.

  • Girl...

  • I'm sorry. I don't know how to talk to kids.

  • Great. So we're done here.

  • Yeah. Let's leave!


  • How did we...

  • Well, it's my show, so I could just like... whatever.

  • It's not common knowledge, but before Blake founded Toms shoes, he was a reality star.

  • Who appeared on the Amazing Race and Fox's Sexiest Bachelor America pageant.

  • Where he gave away something more valuable than shoes. DAT ASS.

  • Really? Whoa.

  • But while on a trip to Argentina, Blake saw the devastating effects of poverty with his own piercing-blue eyes.

  • And he decided, then and there, to devote his life to helping the needy by giving them shoes.

  • Yeah. He's a generous guy.

  • Is he? Is it generous to give people something they don't want or need?

  • What are you talking about? People in those countries need shoes!

  • Do they?

  • ... Yeah?

  • How do you know?

  • I don't know... uh, when I picture someone in Africa, I imagine them living in a village,

  • you know, with no shoes and no clothes, and they live in this cute little hut with an elephant,

  • and everyone is always playing music, and walking around with water jugs on their heads.

  • Oh my god this is condescending, isn't it?

  • Tell you what, why don't we just ask someone from Africa?

  • Yah we should probably.. yeah let's do that.

  • Hey, Teddy how's it going?

  • Hey Adam!

  • I want you to meet my friend Emily.

  • Um, do you have shoes in Uganda?

  • Surprisingly, yes we do have shoes. We also have shoe stores, and we also have cobblers.

  • But, what about those Toms ads? You know, with all the videos of the shoeless children?

  • That's what we called "poverty porn".

  • They find the most extreme situations and make it look like the most common situation on the continent.

  • Shoes is the least of our problems, really guys.

  • We're more worried about Malaria, we're worried about getting jobs, or just worried about having electricity in the village for example.

  • Well if those kids don't need free shoes, why did them take them in the first place?

  • A kid doesn't understand the ramifications of "me receiving these free shoes from somebody in America".

  • Like what kind of ramifications?

  • Well, what it does is actually put people who are creating shoes right out of business.

  • It takes away the agency of the community to be self-sustaining.

  • Yeah, one study showed that free clothing donations to Africa reduce employment in their garment industry by half.

  • ... Are we clay?

  • And here's the kicker.

  • The shoes Toms gives away cost them only $4 to make.

  • But wait, they cost $60!

  • So if I get a pair of $4 shoes, and they give away a pair of $4 shoes, where did the other $52 dollars go?

  • Look, Toms may kind of act like they're charity, but they're a for-profit company.

  • And last year, Blake sold his stake in Toms in a deal that valued them at six hundred million dollars.

  • Corporations are so evil!

  • Oh, no, look, corporations are capable of doing plenty of good in the world.

  • Like, when they contribute to local economies.

  • But the buy-one-give-one model, doesn't help anyone.

  • Wow.

  • And here I thought... OH MY GOD.

  • Wow. You are NOT good at teaching.

We all know Toms shoes.

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B1 US blake pair yah africa worried buy

Adam Ruins Everything - Why "Buy One, Give One" Companies Don't Help Anyone

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    Kristi Yang posted on 2021/07/05
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