The One for One Model

The “One for One” business model, pioneered by businesses like TOMS and Warby Parker, has grown rapidly since its introduction in the late 2000s. Although the two demonstrate different models of giving back, both are making strides toward social responsibility.

As you may know, TOMS has been around since 2006 and coined the term “one for one” as they donate a pair of shoes to children in third world countries for every pair purchased.  On the other end of the spectrum is Warby Parker, who, rather than a one-for-one model, provides training programs for men and women teaching them how to offer eye exams while also selling glasses for an affordable price.

Due to the popularity and success of these two businesses more and more buy one give one business concepts have been introduced, such as: The Naked Hippie, Out of Print, KNO, Roma Boots, Soapbox Soaps and many more. Whether it’s clothing, fresh water or training programs and jobs for locals, these businesses all share a mission to encourage positive change.

However, some of these companies working overseas are realizing that free isn’t always a good thing. Upon making donations to underdeveloped communities, they have quickly realized that they may be taking business from local storeowners. To combat this, some have adapted to working within the communities to provide training and support as opposed to simply gifting the items.

With good intentions always at heart, these businesses are dedicated to the impact they are making in both local and global communities. Along with giving those in need an opportunity to provide for himself or herself, this model grants these citizens a sense of dignity. Along with dignity, the model provides transparency for the consumer. A buyer is fully aware that by purchasing a product they’re giving a good or service to those in need, rather than a percentage of profits.

As we continue to see businesses adapt and evolve the one-for-one model, a piece of the American marketplace will be forever dedicated to giving back to less established populations. From start-up businesses to worldwide corporations, the one-for-one movement is gaining momentum everyday; stay on your toes.