The nominees have been scrutinized, voted on by the public, the ballots counted, and the winner of the 2007 Cooper Hewitt People's Design Award is...TOMS Shoes! Congratulations to a very deserving company. For anyone who isn't familiar with the company, let's have a quick refresher.
They're one of those great "win-win" companies. The shoes bring sustainable economy and industry to Argentina, where they're produced under strict sweatshop-free criteria, made from local materials like canvas and leather. Then, every time you buy a pair, another pair is donated to a child in Argentina on your behalf.
The business was born when Blake Mycoskie went to visit Argentina and discovered two things: the typical soft shoe called "Alpargata," and that a lot of children don't have shoes and the idea for TOMS was born. And it's working: during the first year of business alone, TOMS sold 10,000 pairs of shoes and Mycoskie returned to Argentina to lead the company's first shoe drop. In November, Mycoskie will travel to Africa, where he will be delivering more than 50,000 pairs of TOMS. "I'm delighted that for the second year in a row, the public has chosen a socially conscious design that not only looks great, but helps the lives of less fortunate people around the world," said Cooper-Hewitt director Paul Warwick Thompson. Recall that the Katrina Cottage was the recipient of last year's award.
We're also pleased to see GOOD magazine honorably mentioned at #3, and Global Green's work in New Orleans at #5 -- congratulations to all the nominees!