Still think of TOMS as a purveyor of comfy shoes? You haven't been paying close enough attention. After forays into eyewear, apparel, and even coffee-roasting, the social enterprise is launching a line of bags based on its pioneering "One for One" business model. Like the company's previous products, the carryalls are designed to spark a global movement. With every tote, duffel, backpack, diaper bag, tablet case, or wallet purchased, TOMS will help provide a safer birth for a mother and baby in need in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, and India.
BAGS THAT COUNT
Part of the proceeds from the collection will go toward maternal and child health programs such as Ayzh and BRAC, which provide training for birth attendants, as well as vital supplies like soap, gloves, gauze, cord clamps, surgical blades, and a clean surface.
TOMS has also tapped Every Mother Counts, the nonprofit founded by supermodel Christy Turlington Burns, as its maternal health advocacy partner.
Making childbirth safer is a basic human right, according to the United Nations Population Fund, another one of TOMS’s beneficiaries. Roughly 40 million women around the world give birth each year without the aid of a skilled attendant, resulting in nearly twice as many preventable newborn deaths.
Although infection is a leading cause of death among mothers and newborns worldwide, women are up to 80 percent less likely to develop an infection if they’re provided with clean birth conditions, capable midwives, and proper materials to facilitate a safer delivery.
“After years in the field, I recognized a need for advancements in maternal health, so we developed a program with our Giving Partners to identify two key ways TOMS can aid in safer birthing conditions,” says TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie, who became a father this past December. “Being able to give in this way—one that helps save the lives of mothers and newborns—is incredibly special. I truly believe people around the world will be amazed at what these bags can do.”
Ranging in price from $28 to $298, the bags are available online at www.toms.com, as well as select retailers worldwide.
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Ecouterre is a website devoted to the future of sustainable fashion design. We’re dedicated to showcasing and supporting designers who not only contemplate cut, form, and drape, but also a garment’s social and environmental impact, from the cultivation of its fibers to its use and disposal. Our ethos: To follow the evolution of the apparel industry toward a more environmentally sound future, as well as facilitate a conversation about why sustainable fashion matters.