Challenged by the poverty he encountered in South America, where many children lack basic necessities like shoes and fresh water, Blake Mycoskie founded TOMS shoe company in 2006. His business formula is simple: Every time you buy a pair of TOMS--the unique-looking shoes are modeled after the utilitarian footwear of Argentine workers--TOMS gives a pair to a child on your behalf. In the first year alone, TOMS sold 10,000 pairs, and this November, Mycoskie will travel to Africa to give over 50,000 more. And since all of the products are manufactured in Argentina under strict labor and environmental guidelines, the local economy and the earth benefit, too. TOMS come in seasonal colors, styles and materials (the corduroy version is a new favorite), and starting this fall, you can buy Tiny TOMS for kids, too. For less than $50, it's a two-for-one deal too good to pass up.

This article originally appeared in Plenty in August 2007.

Copyright Environ Press 2007