In the world of social innovation, Blake Mycoskie of TOMS is a bit of a rock star. Now, he is using his company's star power to give other like-minded startups a leg up.
Just in time for the holiday shopping season, TOMS is launching an e-commerce platform called "Marketplace" on TOMS.com that hosts goods from 30 social entrepreneurs who have mission-driven business models, similar in ethos to the "buy one, give one" model that Mycoskie pioneered. If you're not familiar with TOMS' strategy, for every pair of shoes or glasses purchased, the Los Angeles-based retailer gives a pair to in child in need.
TOMS' new Marketplace launches today with 200 items for sale in apparel, bags, home products, jewelry, sports equipment and tech. The products range from $5 to $500 a piece and are available to U.S. consumers only.
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Those companies featured on Marketplace are mostly all relatively small and primarily still in the startup phase. TOMS staff has gone through and researched the companies included to verify that they follow through on their social and philanthropic claims.