Toms is a shoe and clothing companies that uses 'buy one give one' business model, meaning for each pairs of shoes sold it will donate another pair of shoes to impoverished people. The countries to which the free shoes are sent have included Argentina, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Rwanda, South Africa, and the United States. It won some awards, mostly related to its creative business model and 'charity' spirit.

This Adam Ruins Everything video Why "Buy One, Give One" Companies Don't Help Anyone 'debunks' this business model (at least its claim to charity and philanthropy) by saying that firstly the shoes aren't that needed, and secondly all the imported free shoes are hurting local businesses that produces shoes.

Are there specific data or information that supports this debunking?

  • @oddthinking - the claim being asked about seems to be (if you cut out the fluff) : "all the imported free shoes are hurting local businesses that produces shoes". Is that clear enough to get reopened? {{ on a related note: it's also a fairly notable general argument against many forms of aid taking form of locally-producable stuff being used for international charity }} – user5341 Nov 14 '15 at 6:39
  • Sure, let's edit it to that, preferably with a direct quote. The idea of 'harmful' is very loose - harmful to whom? – Oddthinking Nov 14 '15 at 6:46
  • Reworded the title to specify the idea of 'harmful'. But simply saying ' harmful to local businesses of its target area' might not quite capture it. For example, it might be acceptable to slightly harmful local businesses if it helps the people in general. Anyway, everyone please feel free to edit the question to make it suitable for this SE. – user69715 Nov 14 '15 at 6:56
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    I listened to the video again. I can only see twice where they make this claim in a non-opinion-based way. 1) TMS Rufe of Raintree Farms, Uganda says vaguely of the business model: "What it does it put people who are creating shoes right out of business". 2) Host Adam Conover says "One study showed that free clothing donations to Africa reduced employment in their garment industry by half." and a cite to Frazer, Garth, Economic Journal, Vol. 118, Issue 532 appears. Which is the question about? – Oddthinking Nov 14 '15 at 8:26
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    Here is that paper – Oddthinking Nov 14 '15 at 8:27

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