Californian brand Toms is decisively bringing their own brand of commercial philanthropy to the UK, with the opening of a flagship store on London’s Foubert Street. The brand, which operates under a charitable business model, will be selling their by-now ubiquitous espadrilles, amongst other items in the Toms range.
The two-story space aims to be a community area as well as a traditional bricks and mortar shop, with a café that offers free wifi, space to use and charge laptops, and a full barista service. There is also a lounge area where customers can learn more about the various Toms programmes through custom-programmed iPads.
Communal spaces and free services are only one strand of the Tom’s One for One initiative, which gives a free pair of shoes to a child in need every time a pair of espadrilles, sandals and trainers is purchased in store, and free treatment or surgery to a sight impaired person for every pair of glasses bought. For the first time in Europe, the store will additionally be selling colourful ikat and camouflage print handbags and rucksacks as well as optical eyewear, also under the One for One initiative.
The store is around the corner from the Carnaby Street and is the second European flagship, the first opening in Amsterdam last spring. It opens to the public today.
Text by Sarah Waldron