Above: an artist designs Haiti Artist Collective shoes
By the Caribbean Journal staff
California-based shoe company TOMS will be opening a manufacturing facility in Haiti by the first quarter of 2014.
The news was revealed by TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting this week in New York.
TOMAS has made a five-year commitment to begin producing millions of TOMS “Giving Shoes” and to establish and support what it called a “responsible and sustainable shoe industry in Haiti.”
The company said it will support its manufacturing partners to “break ground and establish operations in Haiti,” an effort that could bring more than 100 new jobs in Haiti, it said.
TOMS said its executives would “be involved and visit Haiti regularly” to participate in the “betterment of the production facility.”
“TOMS will also help oversee that working conditions are acceptable and fair living wages are begin paid,” it said.
TOMS will also continue its Haiti Artist Collective programme, which employs 30 artisans to design and hand-paint limited-edition retail shoes in Haiti that are then sold on the company’s Web site.