Blake Mycoskie is the "Chief Shoe Giver" at TOMS Shoes, a company that he founded in 2006 to provide shoes to impoverished children around the world. He has been a professional entrepreneur since his sophomore year in college when he founded a campus laundry business.
Previously, he founded Driver's Ed Direct, launched the advertising firm Mycoskie Media, worked as spokesperson for the online company GreenTiePoker, was CEO of Closer Marketing Group, and served as President of Phil Hellmuth Productions.
He has also had experience on reality television. He was the contestant for Tennessee on Fox's "Sexiest Bachelor in America Pageant" in 2000 and finished third in the second season of CBS's The Amazing Race in 2002. As a result, he launched an all-reality television network called Reality Central in 2002. Mycoskie studied philosophy and finance as an undergraduate at Southern Methodist University.
Question: Is it sustainability a priority?
Blake Mycoskie: Absolutely, huge priority for us. We’re moving towards all organic canvas. We’re already doing a lot of stuff with hemp, recycled rubber for the sole. We’re launching a special vegan shoe with Whole Foods this summer. It’s a very big.
We find that a lot of our customers, if they care about people, they also care about the environment.
Question: How do you keep up with the latest green technologies?
Blake Mycoskie: Tradeshows are a great opportunity. So we have footwear tradeshows. And often times, there’s presenters and exhibitors that specialize in environmentally sustainable materials. And then just Web sites, just going online, using simple free tools like Google. That’s the easiest way to get information I think.
Date Recorded: April 28, 2008