Turns Out Donating Shoes Isn’t All That Helpful

November 15, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Brands like TOMS donate a pair of shoes to children in need, for every pair bought. The Economist looked at the impact this had:

  • While 90% of children wore the shoes, communities that received the free shoes didn’t see any increase in shoe ownership, health, or self-esteem.
  • It seems that all the free shoes did was cause individuals to throw away perfectly good existing shoes.
  • On the bright side the freebies didn’t hurt the local shoe retailing industry, as some would have expected.
  • But critics who believe that aid fosters dependency were given some ammunition. Those who received free shoes were more likely to believe that others should provide for their family.
  • TOMS, the company that deserves acclaim for funding the impartial study, is responding to the findings by requiring children to contribute to community building projects in return for the shoes.

Read more about the study and its findings at The Economist.