TOMS are Made in China?!?! Discuss!

March 1, 2012

Pepper Lowell, Uncategorized

I recently decided to take a look at my FOURTH pair of TOMS shoes and see where they are made.  And there I saw it.  The big MADE IN CHINA tag.  I was so heartbroken.

For those of you who live in a cave and aren’t familiar with TOMS, they started as a shoe company who gives a pair of shoes to a child in need (of shoes!) for every pair they sell.  They have recently branched out to eyewear as well.

So while this is all good and well, and plenty of kids needs shoes, I found myself totally disturbed by the fact they are Made in China.  I feel as though this totally sort of counter-products the whole One for One thing they are doing.

However. That said.  If I don’t have these ballet flats by TOMS I will die.



But now I have ethical conflicts.  Over shoes!  Whose dumb idea was it to look at the tag!  I like living in denial so much better.

These ballet flats are practically $100 though.  Can it really cost $100 to make 2 pairs of shoes and deliver them to two countries and make a small profit? I just don’t know.

So here’s the deal.  I’m sure I buy plenty of shoes that are Made in China and never think twice about it because really who makes shoes in America anyway?  So if TOMS makes their shoes in China but still manages to do some good…is it really bad at all?  Or is it too much to ask to have a company do ALL good

I decided to research a little and see if I could find any sort of official statement on TOMS being MIC and while I didn’t really find that, I did find this Facebook page against TOMS and I also found this guy who called TOMS ugly and seems really mad at them ( I actually LOVE my TOMS shoes and think they are both cute and the most comfortable thing ever).  Additionally, the first time I researched I found a very intellectual blog that made very good points both ways but of course I can’t find it again…if you can find this blog please send it over!

I just can’t decide.  Discuss.  Make me feel better about spending $100 on these ballet flats please.



  1. Amanda Says:

    Was it this one?

    I love my TOMS, too, btw. :/


    YES! it was that one!! thank you for finding/sharing!

  3. Gab Says:

    Dr. Martens has a line they make in the USA! Just sayin. :) However you bring up a point that I recently ran into as well…. There was a deal on the other day for shoes from a company called FreeWaters. Who sells shoes and in turn donates resources for fresh water to rural communities in Africa. I thought I’d ask them where their shoes were made.Here was their response.
    “Thanks for writing. Made in China. We are exploring ways to begin building some styles in the US in the next year or two – very excited about that potential.


    So at least they are exploring the benefit/necessity to have a Made in USA resource for their community. But I chose not to buy a pair, and instead researched ways to donate directly to the projects in Africa…

    My $0.02

  4. Pepper Lowell Says:

    I wish I could buy shoes for $0.02.

  5. Mama Monroe Says:

    I bought a pair of shoes last year from Anthropologie that were MADE IN PHILADELPHIA!!! I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the company though…. hmmm… anyone have any idea?

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