What are the working conditions like?


The TOMS Supplier Code of Conduct outlines that workers should be paid wages that meet or exceed the mandated minimum standards. We don’t have information on which mandated minimum standards TOMS follows.

TOMS states that all of its footwear and eyewear factories in Ethiopia, China and Argentina are monitored through unannounced and announced third party audits.

TOMS reports that it annually require its direct suppliers to certify that the materials incorporated into its products are procured in accordance with all applicable laws in the countries they do business in, including laws regarding slavery and human trafficking. However, the brand does not have a policy against the use of cotton sourced from Uzbekistan in its products.

TOMS encourages anyone with information on violations of the Supplier Code of Conduct to email them at social_compliance@toms.com.

In 2013, TOMS committed to producing 1/3 of its shoes in the regions in which it gives by the end of 2015. In December 2015, TOMS reported that the brand has not only achieved this goal, but exceeded it. Since this commitment was made, the brand has created over 700 jobs in Argentina, China, Ethiopia, Haiti, India and Kenya, and employed an equal ratio of male to female workers.

Rank-a-Brand gave TOMS an E, the lowest possible sustainability score.

It is unclear if the brand can trace its supply chain. The brand does not share a complete list of supplier countries or names and addresses.

The brand does not publicly share information about how much of its supply chain it monitors and audits

The brand has a partial list of supplier countries. TOMS states that its shoes are manufactured in various countries, including Argentina, China, Ethiopia, India, Kenya and Haiti. The brand shares brief descriptions of its factories on its website.
Source: Project Just: TOMS http://projectjust.com/brand_toms/

But though TOMS has galvanized millions of customers around its mission, some say that the TOMS model harms the communities it intends to help. Add a troubling lack of supply chain transparency and all of a sudden those warm-fuzzy feelings start to harden. In this week’s Behind the Label, we take a look at TOMS’ sustainability and giving practices to see if the company has earned its position at the top of the social enterprise food chain.

TOMS is also notoriously vague about the origins of its products, the sustainability of its supply chains and the ethical nature of its business practices.

What I do find troublesome, though, is that TOMS continues to create a movement around conscious consumerism and being heard through choices, yet it continues to hedge questions about the sustainable and ethical nature of its manufacturing practices.
Source: Eco Salon: Behind the Label: TOMS’ One For One Campaignhttp://ecosalon.com/behind-the-label-toms-one-for-one/

In 2013, TOMS made the commitment to produce a minimum of 1/3 of all our giving shoes in geographic regions where we gave by the end of 2015. Our goal was to invest in creating local jobs to stimulate local economies. As the end of 2015 approaches, we are happy to report that TOMS has not only met, but exceeded this goal!

TOMS manufactures locally in Ethiopia, Haiti, India and Kenya, working with factories that comply with a Supplier Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct requires them to comply with local laws, along with internationally recognized standards concerning matters such as health and safety, forced labor, child labor and hours and overtime. We monitor compliance through third party audits performed each year and we have dedicated, internal resources to monitor both the audits and action plans of the factories in keeping with the Supplier Code of Conduct.

Ethiopia: TOMS has been manufacturing in Ethiopia since 2011, even taking on the small-scale production of boots for people affected by podoconiosis. Our manufacturers in Ethiopia take great care to provide a range of services to employees, including housing, transportation and meals.

Haiti: With the help of the Clinton Foundation and the support of the Haitian government, TOMS made a commitment in 2013 to help establish manufacturing in Haiti at the Clinton Global Initiative. Just one year later, we opened our doors and to date, we have produced more than 500,000 pairs of shoes.

India: In India, TOMS has produced over 4 million shoes for children in need. We’ve been able to link our manufacturing partner — a family-owned business — with local Giving Partners to see how their product helps others. Experiencing Giving firsthand inspired factory management to improve operations and knowledge sharing, doing everything from lacing Sports Shoes prior to distribution to providing female health training to employees. Additionally, our manufacturing partner in India has exported shoes to Vietnam.

Kenya: Our manufacturing partner in Kenya is incredibly committed to the TOMS mission. Upon producing their 1 millionth pair of Giving Shoes, they celebrated by giving shoes to every employee in the factory. We have also partnered with our manufacturers to address a Giving Partner’s request for a special shoe for children affected by jiggers, a burrowing sand flea that affects people in rural Kenya. Kenya is also the first local manufacturing country where we will regionally export Giving Shoes to neighboring countries like Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa.

Source: Toms Stories LOCAL MANUFACTURING GOAL REACHED http://www.toms.com/stories/giving/local-manufacturing-goal-reached

Based on our sustainability criteria, Toms Shoes has achieved the E-label. This is our lowest possible sustainability score. Toms Shoes has earned it by communicating hardly any concrete about the policies for environment, carbon emissions or labor conditions in low-wages countries. At least the brand provides some tangible information on the use of environmentally friendlier materials such as natural hemp, organic cotton and recycled polyester. But in general it remains too unclear whether Toms Shoes is really committed to sustainability or not.
Source: Rank a Brand http://rankabrand.org/sustainable-shoes-footwear/Toms

by MoCCconsultant on May 7th at 1:39pm

Hi, I'm a Commodity Consultant and managed to find out the following about the working conditions at Toms Shoes:

Kids don’t make our shoes. Our factories in Argentina, Ethiopia and China are all third party-audited to ensure they employ no child labor and pay fair wages. Source: Toms Giving Report 2013 http://www.toms.co.uk/static/www/pdf/TOMS_Giving_Report_2013.pdf

As we've disclosed previously in our Giving Report, our shoes are made in China, Ethiopia and Argentina. We are aware of the challenges associated with overseeing a global supply chain and our global staff actively manages and oversees our suppliers and vendors to ensure that our corporate responsibility standards are upheld. On an annual basis, we require our direct suppliers to certify that the materials incorporated into our products are procured in accordance with all applicable laws in the countries they do business in, including laws regarding slavery and human trafficking. We also clearly define appropriate business practices for our employees and hold them accountable for complying with our policies, including the prevention of slavery and human trafficking within our supply chain. Source: http://www.toms.co.uk/about-toms#corporateResponsibility

Amar is the Director of Giving Operations at TOMS. A large part of his job has been overseeing TOMS’ local manufacturing efforts, including the set-up and opening of the TOMS factory in Haiti. Since our commitment to produce 1/3 of our Giving Shoes locally, Amar has traveled to nearly all of our manufacturing sites to help them stay on track and improve operations. He recently returned from his second trip to Haiti, and was eager to share the progress we’ve made together…

Over the last year, TOMS was able to work with our manufacturing partner, LXJ Golden Pacific to manufacture shoes in Port-au-Prince. A shoe industry did not exist prior in the city.

Going into this tremendous project, I was proud that TOMS would make a commitment to help improve Haiti, and encourage other companies to do the same. We all knew it was going to be a tall order. We faced challenges just about every step of the way — from getting reliable sources of electricity and water, to training a staff that has never manufactured shoes to learning local laws and cultural norms — all to ensure operations ran smoothly every day.

There is no doubt that working in a manufacturing center is hard manual labor. But, no matter where you are in the world or how much or how little you have, some basic principles exist, oftentimes the most important one being the desire to take care of family and give your children the opportunity to live a better life. Source: http://www.toms.com/stories/giving/building-a-sustainable-shoe-industry-in-haiti

by MoCCconsultant on May 7th at 11:57am
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