Benefiting Others

When Blake Mycoskie founded TOMS shoes six years ago, his pitch to consumers -- buy a pair and a second one will be donated to the needy -- helped start a phenomenon retail consultants call compassionate consumerism. Since then it has been imitated widely by established brands. Inspired by TOMS, Skechers USA Inc. (SKX) (SKX) introduced a brand called BOBS, as in Benefiting Others By Shoes. Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) (URBN) stores feature apparel by Threads for Thought, which gives part of its sales proceeds to humanitarian groups.

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