Industry News 6/13/2011

B$Z: TOMS Introduces TOMS Eyewear, The Next One for One Product

TOMS Introduces TOMS Eyewear, The Next One for One™ Product
With Every Pair Purchased, TOMS Will Help Give Sight to a Person in Need, One for One™

Marking its evolution from a shoe company to a One for One™ company, TOMS has launched a highly anticipated second product line, TOMS Eyewear, that will address another pressing need around the world.  Three classic styles of TOMS sunglasses will be offered to customers, and in true TOMS fashion, with every pair purchased, TOMS will help give sight to a person in need.  One for One™.  The announcement was made today by TOMS' Founder and Chief Shoe Giver, Blake Mycoskie, who after months of community speculation on what TOMS' next product would be, revealed TOMS Eyewear (www.TOMS.com/eyewear) to hundreds of fans at a public event in Santa Monica. 

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110607/LA15758-a)

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110607/LA15758-b)

"Ever since 2007, I've realized the TOMS One for One model could do more than give shoes – it could and should address other needs around the world," said Mycoskie.  "Sight is a fundamental need. The loss of sight has a dramatic impact on a person's life – and on his or her family and community.  We're so excited to help more people in need and for TOMS to give in a whole new way."

With TOMS Eyewear, one person buys, and one person is helped.  TOMS will help give sight to people in need through medical treatment, prescription eyeglasses and sight-saving surgery, administered by its first Sight Giving Partner, Seva Foundation (www.seva.org).  Based in northern California, Seva has been implementing sustainable blindness prevention and sight restoration programs for over 30 years. Seva programs and partners have helped nearly three million people worldwide to see again.  Nepal, Tibet and Cambodia are the first countries in which TOMS Eyewear will give. 

Available at www.TOMS.com, Nordstrom and other select retailers across the U.S., TOMS Eyewear arrives in three iconic sunglass styles.  Made in Italy, each style has an iconic design striping detail, with the hand-painted stripes on TOMS sunglasses symbolizing the three elements of One for One™. The first stripe on the temples represents the purchaser.  The stripe on the tips represents the person to whom the customer is helping give sight. And the middle stripe represents TOMS, bringing the two together.

Mycoskie added, "We are humbled to be in this position today, and would not be here without the dedication and support of so many people, from our retail partners – who agreed to keep TOMS Eyewear a mystery up until launch – to our amazing Giving Partners, to the countless customers, TOMS employees, interns, campus club reps, and, of course, family and friends everywhere.  With TOMS Eyewear, we feel like we are starting all over again, and there is still so much to give." 

According to sources*, blindness and visual impairment is the seventh-largest health disability in the world.  Almost 284 million people in the world are visually impaired, and nearly 90% live in developing countries.  Two-thirds of people who are blind are female.  Thirty-nine million people in the world are blind, and more than 18 million children around the world suffer from blindness or impaired vision.