Monday, April 4, 2011

Could You Go One Day Without Shoes?

I am not one of those barefoot people... you know, the kind who can walk around in no shoes, or go anywhere in thongs. My husband is one of them — he thinks the most comfortable footwear for a day at Disneyland is a pair of well-worn flip flops. Me, I need arch support and a slight heel. Frankly, I like my feet to be separated from the dirt, wads of gum, or shards of broken glass on the ground. Especially at an amusement park.

For some people in developing countries, going shoeless is not a choice. It's just the way life is.

Tuesday, April 5 is One Day Without Shoes , a day of action to get people to walk around, barefoot, to raise awareness for the millions of kids around the world who can't afford shoes. The project is sponsored by Tom's Shoes, a company that make these fabric espadrilles, starting at $48.

For each pair of shoes sold, the company also donates one pair to a child in need.

A typical pair of Toms Shoes

I'm not planning on taking part in One Day Without Shoes (c'mon, I'm already going a whole year almost without shopping!), but I do admire those who will sacrifice their soles. And I like any company that has an element of social responsibility, especially in this disposable age where most Americans buy often and buy cheap, without much regard to how products are manufactured or where the profits go. The Tom's website states that their shoes are made in Argentina, China and Ethiopia — under "sound labor conditions, pay fair wages and follow local labor standards".

As I just finished my third month without buying myself any clothes, this no-shopping thing is actually starting to feel sort of... normal... to me. When I do go back to purchasing things, I do hope to have a refined sense of need v. want, and to be able to make choices that will be good for my bank account, and also for others.

I know, this post sounds incredibly naive and cheesy of me, but I believe, I really do!