Shopping for a Better World - NYTimes.com

“I think the act of giving is fine when there are temporary needs to be met,” Dees said, “but we need to get around to finding out what the underlying problems are.”  There will always be people who “shouldn’t have to pay anything for shoes or glasses,” he continued, but for those who can afford such items, long-term handouts make less sense.

As with many mass donation programs, Toms’s donated goods are not customized for the recipient region. And while closed-toe canvas shoes may be suitable in some areas, they may not fit with the weather or fashion demands of many markets like geox shoes. Areas with high rainfall, for instance, would likely be better served with a rubber boot.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/shopping-for-a-better-world/?…