State Street Style: One for me, one for you

By Lauren Paolini

State Street Style has discussed sustainable fashion in the past, and honestly, we could go on forever. There’s so much to divulge, but we simply cannot fit it all into one column. We encourage everyone to do some research on their own.

There is an array of environmentally-conscious brands out there, and one of the first I bought from was TOMS.

At the beginning of high school, TOMS shoes were all the rage for summer footwear. The classic alpargatas, or canvas slip-ons, were a huge trend when the company first came on the scene.

Founded in 2006 by CEO Blake Mycoskie, TOMS thrives on the foundation of giving back.

It’s pretty simple – every time a pair of shoes are sold, the company donates a pair to a child in need. One for me, one for you.

The “one for one” concept has since expanded beyond just shoes.

I was very excited a few years back when I saw the cutest messenger bag for sale on I was even more delighted when I discovered that my purchase of this bag ensured a safe birthing experience for a mother in need. Training for birth attendants and birthing kits have been donated to underprivileged moms and babies with every bag purchase.

The only thing cuter than my messenger bag? A happy, healthy baby.

While you peruse through the TOMS website and add to your cart, be sure to browse sunglasses. 

Yes, you should do this because there’s an array of designs that make a statement all year round, but also because every eyewear purchase provides eye care for a person who may not receive it otherwise.

Sunglasses are a great gift for a friend, but prescription glasses and eye surgery are even better. goes into detail about their sight initiatives, and explains how this also creates opportunities for community eye care programs as well as jobs in these facilities.

TOMS sells everything from espadrilles to booties, but the merchandise doesn’t stop at apparel. The brand began a coffee roasting company in 2014. 

Every purchase of TOMS Roasting Co. coffee helps supply clean water in six developing countries. According to, to date, 335,000 weeks of safe water has been given as a result of coffee purchases.

If you’re due for a new pair of kicks, I strongly recommend looking for some TOMS. They are stylish, comfortable, and will last you more than one season.

It’s also easier to justify a purchase when you’re helping another person. So I admit – I don’t feel guilty about my recent purchase. It was for the children.

When my new floral-embroidered boots come in, I’ll stand a little taller not only from the high heel, but from knowing that my money went beyond my pedicure and helped another human.

So, go ahead, buy the shoes. You’ll be helping others by shopping.