I know, that's A LOT of TOMS shoes. What can I say, I'm a huge fan of comfortable shoes! I took this picture as I was clearing out my closets preparing for our move into the Airstream. And I've bought a lot of TOMS over the years (this isn't even all that I've ever owned since I've sold off some during the years-- new ones to eBay and old ones to Crossroads Trading Co, a thrift/trade-in store).
I guess I'm bringing this up now, not just because I have a great picture (though of course that's partly it), but mostly because I've realized that TOMS made me change how I viewed shopping (gradually, not all at once). TOMS was the first brand that I encountered that practiced responsible/ethical fashion (if you're not familiar, TOMS gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for ever pair purchased). Before, when I shopped for clothes or accessories, I only really thought of me, me, me (what do I want? how does it look on me? can I afford it?). And of course these are still factors in all my purchasing decisions, but now I've started thinking, "If my dollars are a vote of support, what kind of company do I want to buy from?".
And this led me down the path to brands like Everlane and Mansur Gavriel, where we know something about their production process and their company beliefs. Of course if I don't like their products, I don't care how ethical or sustainable you are, I probably won't buy. But if I can choose to buy a t-shirt responsibly, where I know the people who are producing it are treated well or it's made sustainably, then why wouldn't I choose the company that cares about other people and the environment and not just their bottom line?