Blake Mycoskie:

How to Build an Environmentally Sustainable Business

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www.iamecowarrior.com in partnership with youtube.com

Production: IAEW

www.iamecowarrior.com in partnership with youtube.com/user/tomsshoes While vacationing in Argentina in 2006, innovator Blake Mycoskie spent a day volunteering with a local non-profit organization delivering used shoes to children in the villages outside Buenos Aires. Mycoskie realized that he could sustainably fund a philanthropic movement through the creation of a unique One for One business model, which provides a new pair of TOMS shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. Mycoskie ...

www.iamecowarrior.com in partnership with youtube.com/user/tomsshoes While vacationing in Argentina in 2006, innovator Blake Mycoskie spent a day volunteering with a local non-profit organization delivering used shoes to children in the villages outside Buenos Aires. Mycoskie realized that he could sustainably fund a philanthropic movement through the creation of a unique One for One business model, which provides a new pair of TOMS shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. Mycoskie subsequently launched Toms Eyewear in 2011 using the One for One model according to which for every pair of eyewear sold, people in need receive prescription glasses, sight-saving surgery or medical treatment. To date, TOMS has given over ten million pairs of new shoes to children in need, and 150,000 children have had their sight restored through purchases of TOMS Eyewear. Transcript -- Blake Mycoskie, Founder, TOMS Shoes So the name is kind of tricky, because my name is Blake, and everyone wants to meet Tom. But Tom doesn't exist. I started Toms so that I could give away shoes. A lot of companies have a thing where they build a business and then give away as they become successful. Mine was the opposite: I felt a responsibility to help people, and then I had to build a business in order to do it. So it was important to me to start using more environmentally sustainable materials -- 70% hemp and 30% recycled plastic bottles. Together, that creates something that looks and feels together like a traditional canvas, and it's just as durable, but much more environmentally sustainable. And that's just one example of using creative thinking to get the same end result but with less impact. This term "social entrepreneurism" is a really good one because it melds the idea of being an entrepreneur and understanding the tenets of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, and then also a social mind-set, in that "I'm going to start giving back to the community," or solving a social problem from the beginning, and I'm going to use business to foster that. What does IAMECO Warrior mean to you? When I think of "Eco Warrior," it's someone who is using their life, their talents, their resources, to truly save the environment. We all have a certain level of influence; it's the most responsible thing to do to make sure that you use that influence to make the greatest impact you can. Join the Movement What do you do, how do you tweak it so that your environmental impact is lower? That is a more sustainable way to approach it than to try to redo the whole system. Part of what I think Toms' impact, hopefully, on the world will be when I'm long and gone, will not necessarily be how many shoes we gave away, but how many other businesses we inspired to follow suit. What they do not only affects immediately the environment or other people today but also all the entrepreneurs who will follow their lead. Start small, really do it right from the beginning, keep your overhead low, and then if the market responds and it grows, great, you're going to help more people. But if it stays small and you only help a few people you're still helping someone. And that is very admirable. Find your eco Solution www.iamecowarrior.com Directed by Roger Moenks

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