HISTORY OF ALPARGATAS:
The story of the alpargata began thousands of years ago, as it is believed the alpargata is a descendant of the Egyptian sandal. Romans later adapted the sandal by adding the upper for protection. As time went by, the Alpargata was taken to Spain where it took its current shape. In the 15th century it was taken to America by Spanish colonizers, soldiers and missionaries.
Pair of sandals from the middle Neolithic, found in Spain between 5200 and 4800 BC
By 1850 Buenos Aires had more then 50 families that hand made alpargatas for a living. Originally made as a poor man’s shoe, loved by rural workers for the comfort and versatility of alpargatas, the mythical gauchos of Argentina spread the popularity of the shoe. In their travels throughout Patagonia, the “Pampas”, and the Andes, the gauchos walked on foot and rode on horseback, always wearing alpargatas.
Without knowing it the alpargatas were born environmentally friendly too; made of more than 99.7% natural fibers, the upper is made from 100% Cotton and the sole made of 100% Jute.
Traditional Argentine alpargatas with made with jute and natural fibers
As time passed, alpargatas became a popular and important part of the city wardrobe and spread from Buenos Aires to all other cities. The alpargata, traditionally made only in black or white, became the everyday shoe for Argentina. For people who valued a breathable and glove-like shoe, simple, and at a good price, the alpargata was the perfect fit.
The alpargatas were born as a simple, environmentally comfortable and popular shoe for the masses!
The A&A idea was conceived by an Argentine family living in San Diego California since 2003 giving new life to the essential and traditional shoes they grew up loving. A&A kept the best parts of the traditional alpargatas and added a twist of comfort, design, color and fun.
A&A grew from countless experiences and trips with family and friends between Chaco, a small state in Northern Argentina where many people still don’t have access to clean water, and San Diego California USA, where the “alpargatas style” has recently become well known by TOMS® and its giving purpose, which are also inspired by the popular argentine shoe. While we believe TOMS® mission is very good, A&A approach is different and very simple: build ESSENTIAL, COMFORTABLE and AFFORDABLE shoes of the same quality adding a twist of COLOR, DESIGN and FUN(passing the saving to you who can make a bigger impact donating to the charity of your choice. If you don’t know anyone, here is a really good one: Water.org )
A&A is now a growing business and some of our team members are Agustin (Idea, Marketing), Abril (Idea, Design), Analia (Design and Development), Al (General Operations, CEO).
The TOMS® Story
While traveling in Argentina in 2006, TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair of shoes for a child in need. One for One®.
What began as a simple idea has evolved into a powerful business model that helps address need and advance health, education and economic opportunity for children and their communities around the world.
We give in over 70 countries
We’ve given over 60 million pairs of shoes to children in need, teaching us 60 million lessons. Since 2006, people like you have helped us achieve this amazing number – and it’s leading to bigger and better things, like giving different types of shoes based on terrain and season, or creating local jobs by producing shoes in countries where we give.
TOMS® Shoes are always given to children through humanitarian organizations who incorporate shoes into their community development programs.
The gift of sight
TOMS® Eyewear launched in 2011, and has helped restore sight to over 400,000 people in need. We give sight in 13 countries, providing prescription glasses, medical treatment and/or sight-saving surgery with each purchase of eyewear.
Not only does a purchase help restore sight, it supports sustainable community-based eye care programs, the creation of professional jobs (often for young women) and helps provide basic eye care training to local health volunteers and teachers.
TOMS Roasting Co. launched in 2014, and has helped provide over 335,000 weeks of safe water in 6 countries. With each purchase of TOMS Roasting Co. Coffee, we work with our Giving Partners to provide 140 liters of safe water (a one week supply) to a person in need.
By supporting the creation of sustainable water systems, we are able to help provide entire communities with access to safe water, which leads to improved health, increased economic productivity, job creation and access to education.
In 2015, TOMS Bag Collection was founded with the mission to help provide training for skilled birth attendants and distribute birth kits containing items that help a woman safely deliver her baby. As of 2016, TOMS has supported safe birth services for over 25,000 mothers.
With every bag you purchase, TOMS will help provide a safe birth for a mother and baby in need. One for One®.
What started as a company has become a movement
Our movement is made up of many parts, including One Day Without Shoes and World Sight Day, our annual days to raise awareness for the global issues of poverty and avoidable blindness and visual impairment.
In addition to the alpargata-inspired Classics, TOMS® offers a variety of footwear styles for men, women and kids. From everyday men’s shoes like Paseos to fun and flirty Strappy Wedges, we are passionate about both the fashion and compassion we offer.
Our Eyewear is inspired by iconic and vintage style, from wayfarer-inspired Classics to pilot frames to historic oversized lenses, and every purchase provides our customers the opportunity to restore sight to a person in need.
Our coffee beans are roasted in the United States, and are sourced from several regions around the world. While each region we source from produces a signature flavor profile, they all have one thing in common: a proud, longstanding tradition of great coffee.
The TOMS Bag Collection is inspired by the styles and textiles we’ve seen in the locations where we give shoes, sight and water. Reflecting a global ethos, the entire line conveys our passion for functional beauty and everyday utility – all while communicating our pledge to make a difference in the lives of others.