by Ronnie Charrier
The shoe company TOMS made a name for themselves with their "One for One" model - for every "one" product purchased, the company says it will help "one" person in need. It's an appealing concept for the ethical shopper, and there's more good news for those who also happen to enjoy the outdoors: the climbing brand SoIll has partnered with TOMS, donating the proceeds of their sales to the organization 1Climb, which is helping inner city kids around the U.S. have access to climbing and the outdoors.
“There are so many negative ways that kids escape — they get into drugs, they get into gangs, they get into all these potentially negative things — all they’re trying to do is just escape,” TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie said in a video released by 1Climb. “Climbing can be a positive sense of escape to build some identity around.”
1Climb was started by climbing legend Kevin Jorgeson and SoIll founder Daniel Chancellor, and in 2017, the organization built their first climbing wall at a Boys and Girls Club in St. Louis, Missouri. Thanks to a large donation from TOMS shoes this year, they are building another wall in Los Angeles. The organization hopes to continue to bring kids to climbing, and climbing to kids.
“Why not bring climbing to the next generation instead of waiting for them to find it?” says Jorgeson, in a promotional video on the Indiegogo page.
To this end, the two companies have a new collaboration on a number of climbing and street shoes that are available via their recently launched Indiegogo campaign. The money they raise will go directly to building climbing walls in Boys and Girls clubs around the country, and purchasing day passes for Boys and Girls club members to visit local climbing gyms.
Fifty percent of proceeds from the limited-edition rock shoes ($150) and 25 percent of proceeds from the lifestyle shoe ($89) will go toward building more climbing walls without the help of major brand donors. Alternatively, donors can forgo the perks, and have 100 percent of their money go directly to the organization. As you can see, the shoes are based on the classic So iLL and TOMS-designed shoes, with the major change to the latter being the use of SoIll’s patented Dark Matter climbing rubber outsoles.
There is also a TOMS-branded chalk bag, which has a drawstring closure and a small zipper pocket, and a larger chalk bucket that has a Velcro closure and zip pocket. Both the bag and roll-down bucket sport the TOMS logo.
According to 1Climb, the Los Angeles wall will be a big step toward reaching the organization’s goal of introducing 100,000 kids to climbing. To help these awesome companies in their goal to get 100,000 kids into climbing, as well as score some very sweet new gear from TOMS and So iLL, head over to 1Climb’s Indiegogo campaign now.