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Haiti - Economy : Toms Shoes will invest $10 million in Haiti
"TOMS is extremely proud and excited to make this commitment, and we would not be in this position if it wasn't for President Clinton's ongoing leadership and inspiration," said Mycoskie. "Three years ago at CGI the President asked me to help support the people of Haiti, and TOMS responded by giving hundreds of thousands of new pairs of shoes to children in need. Today, our dedication to Haiti is so much greater, and we look forward to creating jobs and opportunities in Haiti over the next several years."
At present, TOMS shoes are manufactured in China, Argentina, Kenya and Ethiopia. The company is actively seeking to produce a minimum of 1/3 of all of its giving shoes in geographic regions where its shoes are given, using local labor and local resources, by the end of 2015. For Haiti, TOMS' has made a five-year commitment to produce millions of its giving shoes in country, and to support the growth of a responsible, sustainable Haitian shoe industry.
Initial production will take place in a 10,000 square-foot facility located in Port-au-Prince and be dedicated to TOMS giving shoes to ensure that the shoes produced will directly benefit surrounding communities. TOMS also expects to generate local partnerships to support infrastructure and workforce support systems surrounding employees, their families and the broader community. TOMS executives will visit Haiti regularly to participate in the improvement of the production facility and oversight of fair living wages and working conditions.
TOMS' commitment has been several months in the making, with the company having worked closely with Haitian President Michel Martelly's office, the Primature of Haiti, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, the Center for Facilitation of Investment (CFI) and PACEGI – Haiti's Advisory Council on Economic Growth and Investment. Over the past year, TOMS has also been collaborating with over 30 artisans in Haiti to design a successful, limited edition series of retail shoes under the Haiti Artists Collective banner. This collaboration will continue.
Mycoskie added, "Today marks a major milestone for TOMS, but we hope it means even more for the people of Haiti, who have had to endure so much over so many years. By making such a strong commitment and business investment, we hope to inspire other companies in the fashion and footwear industries to follow suit."
Learn more about Toms :
In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in a village in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One.® To date, TOMS has given over 10 million pairs of new shoes to children in need.
Press briefing of the Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, at the Clinton Global Initiative