LA-based footwear brand TOMS just launched its Spring 2019 shoe collection with plenty of vegan options.
The new seasonal collection features TOMS’ classic canvas shoe with spring-y prints like pineapple and bananas, tropical leaves, swimmers, funfetti, and my personal favorite — “Kissy Birds,” which has smooching budgies on it.
There are also vegan espadrilles in polka dot chambray and watercolor floral patterns as well as water shoes. There are also lace flats in the Alpargatas style (black or white), and seven types of Viv sandals — including this pair, which some might consider a unique take on the denim trend.
The new men’s collection also has some vegan shoe options, including canvas botas, flip-flops, sneakers, and slip-ons.
Are All TOMS Shoes Vegan?
Some TOMS shoes use leather or suede, but the brand has a page for all of its vegan-friendly shoes. Most limited-edition collections feature vegan options. Most classics styles are free from animal-based materials.
TOMS’ Charitable Work
Founded in 2006 by entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie, TOMS is known for its “One for One” business model that donates a free pair shoes to children in countries including Haiti, India, Argentina, China, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
The concept has faced some criticism from communities for appealing to people’s desire to do good, but not addressing the underlying issues surrounding poverty. According to the TOMS website, the company has donated 86 million pairs of shoes to children.
As explained by TMS “Teddy” Ruge, founder of the Ugandan social enterprise Raintree Farms, on an episode of “Adam Ruins Everything” that “[What receiving shoe donations] does is put people creating shoes right out of business. It takes away the agency of the community to be self-sustaining.”
TOMS has taken on other socially-conscious initiatives — eyewear purchases donate prescription glasses and medical treatments for eyes. Coffee purchases donate a week’s worth of water to communities in need. And bag purchases help provide safe birth training.
TOMS new vegan-friendly shoe collection is available online.