California-based vegan-friendly shoe company TOMS, best-known for its “One for One” model where it donates a pair of shoes to underprivileged children with every pair purchased, is launching its first-ever cruelty-free climbing shoe.
The vegan climbing shoe, which comes in men’s and women’s sizing, features a material called “Dark Matter Rubber,” originally developed for Navy Seals to ensure foot placement on dangerous surfaces. According to So iLL, “Dark Matter Rubber is the stickiest shoe rubber on the planet and is proudly made in the USA.” The lightweight, cruelty-free shoes are the first of their kind.
vegan shoes for a good cause
The new territory for TOMS is part of a collaboration with climbing gear company So iLL called “Shoes to Get Kids Climbing.” According to the campaign page, proceeds will benefit 1Climb, a nonprofit organization founded by famed freeclimber Kevin Jorgeson, that has partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of America to build kid-friendly climbing walls to its facilities. Thanks to a donation from TOMS, 1Climb will build a new wall in Los Angeles, but the campaign ultimately hopes to inspire a love of climbing in more than 100,000 children across the country.
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#1CLIMB | Thank you to everyone who has given to the @indiegogo thus far. We are loving all the support from everyone | We hit our preliminary goal, but are far from done. 28 days remain in our @indiegogo campaign. Let’s grow this and see how much more we can do. Your contributions directly equal introducing kids to climbing and potentially changing their entire trajectory. The link is in our profile. Thank you! @eldowalls @toms @prideofgypsies @touchstoneclimbing @climbsoill @iamdanielwilson @blakemycoskie @heathermycoskie @zaydewolf
“Climbing can be a positive sense of escape and a positive activity that they (kids) build some identity around. I’m excited to see and meet some of the kids that will climb for the first time. I’m really excited to see in 5, 10, 15 years who these kids become,” said TOMS Founder, Blake Mycoskie.
1Climb will use remaining funds from the campaign, which has been fully funded, to provide kids with free guest passes to visit local climbing gyms. Those interested in TOMS vegan climbing shoes can gain access to a pair by donating to the $149 tier. Donors also have the option of forgoing the shoe in favor of 100 percent of their money go toward building more climbing walls.
The collaboration isn’t the only one to result in cruelty-free athletic wear. Earlier this month, vegan designer Stella McCartney teamed up with Adidas to launch the brand’s first-ever leather-free Stan Smith sneaker. The release closely followed the debut of her sustainable vegan athletic wear collection for the fall/winter 2018 season.
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