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Toms Shoes uses Selfies to help children in need, and influence China

Back in 2014, international brands engaging in corporate social responsibility in China’s fashion industry were rare. The idea of donating to a cause for each consumer buying a product, was fairly new and companies that aimed to implement this were far and few between. However, the Californian shoe brand Toms aimed to change that.


Known for their cause of donating a pair of shoes to kids in need, for every pair they sold, they soon expanded this idea to China and since then, the brand has helped over 650,000 kids without shoes.


  • Part of Toms’ journey in China was the introduction of its annual, global social media campaign from May 1 through May 10, called “One Day Without Shoes,” in which users submit their photos of their bare feet “so kids don’t have to.”
  • In their second year of the campaign in China, the company created a step-by-step guide using a colorful and musical WeChat HTML5 app to show fans how to participate on Weibo, WeChat, or the Instagram-like photo app Nice, prompting them to hashtag their photos with #withoutshoes or #赤足一日.
  • Last year, Toms also has the backing of more KOLs, as well as A-lister Chinese celebrity, former Chanel ambassador Zhou Xun.


With their campaign, participants with the most creative photo are eligible to win a voucher for the wellness and beauty brand, Dragonfly, as an incentive. More importantly however, Toms donates a pair of shoes for every unique user who posts a photo.


In addition to the digital campaign, 200 university students in Beijing joined satellite events around the globe in a barefoot walk, aimed to raise awareness about impoverished communities, proving the influence that a brand can have when their priority isn’t to become better than competitors and instead is to try to make a difference and positive impact on the community.


Source: Jing Daily

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