How Can I Upcycle My Old Heels
If you have that one pair of heels that you absolutely adore but are looking a little worse for wear, weve got you covered. Spruce up those treasured heels with everything from sequins and glitter to jewels and rhinestones. Its easy to do to with our three simple steps:
1) Glide a layer of PVA glue onto your shoe then add your choice of bling.
2) Add jewels section by section as the PVA glue can dry quickly.
3) Leave this to dry for about 12 hours before showing off your skills.
If you have a pair of shoes that are past their best, dont simply toss them in the bin. There are so many options for getting a little more mileage out of that beloved pair.
Make a difference to the planet, someone in need, or even yourself with our top tips for what to do with your old shoes. Take a look at our top shoe trends to find your next replacement pair of shoes .
Where To Donate Running Shoes
Running shoes are not often a great item to donate to a second hand store. They are not an item that people will generally want to reuse.
However, if your shoes arent totally worn out, you have some more options for donation beyond a local thrift store. Maybe your shoes didnt quite fit right or the kids outgrew them quickly. Shoes like that are perfect to give to someone who really needs them, and there are a few organizations that do just that.
- Soles4Souls works to give impoverished people shoes so they can go to school, work and stay healthy. They even organize work trips for individuals and groups to give out the shoes.
- One World Running provides shoes specifically to runners in need. The Boulder-based nonprofit was started after sports journalist Mike Sandrock visited West Africa and was inspired to do good and make change.
Look Into Textile Recycling Near You
Textile recycling might not be as easy as throwing the items into a bin, dragging it to the curb, and waiting for someone else to pick it up, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Search for clothing recycling bins in your area, many of which will take clothing in any condition, and drop off your items for free. Companies like the American Textile Recycling Services collect donations at drop-off locations, then sort through everything. There are also plenty of websites, like Recycle Now, that help you find bins in your area.
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How To Recycle Old Tennis Shoes To Help Transform Lives
Those tennis shoes youre thinking about tossing can join the 300+ million pairs of athletic shoes Americans send to landfills every year, or you can recycle them with GotSneakers where they can take on a new life with someone in need.
Wondering what GotSneakers does with your old tennis shoes? They are shipped off to a developing country to make a positive difference in the lives of impoverished individuals who desperately need shoes. Keep reading to learn how it works!
Be Smart With Your Future Sneaker Purchases
Our final idea to recycle old sneakers is to be mindful of your future purchases. Whether you purchase mens casual sneakers, womens shoes, or anything unisex, think about what you buy. We love the 4 earlier ideas, such as the Sneakers For Good program to recycle athletic shoes. But, we know were all going to need to purchase new sneakers eventually. So, we want to share a few of the best brands that make sustainability a priority.
As we mentioned earlier, Nikes a good one for sneakers because of their Reuse-A-Shoe Program, but others also exist. For instance, Everlane is all about sustainability for its products. Cariuma is another brand thats core is sustainability in its products. However, remember that as we move toward sustainability, big brands, such as Adidas and Converse, are also moving toward using recycled materials.
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Is It Worth Donating Old Shoes
Donating shoes is 100% worth it! Your shoes will go to someone who will need them the most and, trust me, you’ll feel great about it. You probably already thought about doing this since not every shoe you have in your closet has been terribly worn out, there are some that just need a good wash and that’s about it. That’s when they become someone else’s treasure!
“But where can I donate my shoes?” you may ask. Good news for shoe lovers: there are many places across Canada that accept shoe donations!
One of them is Shoe Bank Canada, a non-profit social enterprise that has a clear mission: to ensure that every Canadian has access to a decent pair of shoes.
The best thing about them is that they promote two types of donations: the standard ones, in which you simply collect the shoes you have at home and take them to one of their drop-off locations, and other ones they call “shoe drive“. If you want to host a shoe drive, it basically consists of asking your community to collect gently worn, used and new of all types and sizes, gathering them, and delivering or shipping them to one of the Shoe Bank Canada drop-off locations. Just like they state on their website, it’s a fun and simple way to engage your team or organization to give back and make a difference.
Another excellent non-profit for donating shoes is Soles4Souls, one that is so transparent that you can even meet their team and find out how they manage their finances by just clicking on their website!
Ner With Local Running Stores
Theres no better place to host a running shoe drive fundraiser than a local running store. To get started, partner with your local athletic and sporting good retailers that sell running shoes. Ask them to help you collect unwanted sneakers from their customers.
Typically, running stores will agree to help out because theyre aware of social responsibility and how it impacts the business. Plus, all theyll need to do is set up the bins and encourage visitors to bring in their gently worn, used and new athletic shoes. Since customers are looking to buy new sneakers, chances are, theyll be more than willing to give away their current pair.
Dont limit yourself, though. Other retailers may want to help out, too. For instance, check with local grocery stores and other businesses that have a lot of foot traffic or that cater to athletic audiences. Philanthropy is important to companies, and they want to build a positive image for their brand. Youll never know if you never ask!
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How Do You Dispose Of Old Pair Of Shoes
If your shoes are beyond saving, one way to dispose of them is to avoid the common three-bin residential waste collection, and simply aim for the trash. I know, it’s hard for me to even write this.
If you live in Calgary, you may be able to drop them off at one of the city’s Throw ‘N’ Go bins, but I advise you to first assess whether they will accept them or not. No matter how hard we try, there are times when there’s not much that can be done, and that’s okay. The important thing is that we first try as many eco-alternatives as possible!
Bonus tip: To prevent your shoes from reaching the maximum state of decomposition, consider taking care of them as much as possible. Store them in a well-ventilated place, dry them thoroughly if they got wet, wash them as soon as possible if you soaked them in a puddle of dirty water, clean them with the right products for each material, don’t leave them sitting in the sun for days, and if they start to smell a bit bad, put an unused black tea bag in each shoe and leave them there for a few days. Believe me, giving a little love to your shoes is more than enough.
Are Shoes Biodegradable
We must confess, this question left us digging for the right answers. The reason is that there are so many materials surrounding the production of shoes. And when you thought you had found a shoe made with a biodegradable material, theres another part waiting to be discovered made with nonbiodegradable materials.
Though we are tempted to give a general answer that the biodegradability of your shoes will depend on the materials, it was made of, but we know you will need better clarity. So, here we are, breaking everything about the biodegradability of your shoes down for you. So, lets get to it and be done in a jiffy.
The answers to this question seem to tilt more towards the balance of saying that hardly would you find a completely biodegradable shoe. Heres a difficult answer to swallow, but there are reasons for it.
If not all, many shoes are made with different kinds of materials. An average shoe could have leather, textile, hardwood, and plastic materials. While all these come together to make some of the best shoes, they pose a big problem for the environment.
If you are to examine each of those materials biodegradability level, you will be surprised at how long they take to break down. Many of them would outlive this generation and the one to come. Plastic materials, for instance, take up to 1000 years before they biodegrade. For leather, they take about 40 years.
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The Future Of Footwear
Luckily, the shoe industry is working on new ways to help curb this cycle of waste and make it simpler to part with shoes without all the guilt. From upstarts like Veja and Everlane to industry stalwarts like Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Converse and Saucony, more footwear companies are moving towards non-toxic, biodegradable and recycled components. It’s also easier than ever to give a pair of shoes a second life by listing them on resale platforms like TheRealReal, Depop and ThredUp or on sneaker trading platforms like Sole Supremacy, StockX and Fight Club.
At the end of the day, there’s no magic bullet solution to getting rid of old shoes. Like everything else to do with sustainability, it’s complicated and requires tradeoffs. And even recycling innovations can’t replace the time-tested advice to buy the best quality shoes you can afford and to care for each pair as long as possible. Once you’re past that point? It’s worth remembering that old shoes also make great flower pots.
Please note: Occasionally, we use affiliate links on our site. This in no way affects our editorial decision-making.
Selling And Swapping Shoes You No Longer Want
You can try selling your shoes online or at a garage sale, but this option takes time and effort…. and unless they are a sought after brand, you may just find you are permanently stuck with them.
I hate having garage sales, and the last one we had several years ago, a lady with incredibly dirty feet came and tried on all the shoes I was selling. I then had to clean them all thoroughly before donating.
> Shoe Bank
Bored of your shoes and want to swap?
Shoe Bank offers a great solution where members upload photos and details of their shoes for a swap. Once you find a pair , the person receiving the shoes just pays for shipping.
This is such a fabulous idea for high heels or pumps in particular, that may only be worn once or a few times for a special event. If you’re partial to shoes this will enable you to regularly mix up your collection of shoes without continually purchasing new items. Head here to learn more.
> Shoe Swap
Selling and Buying odd shoes may sound a little strange BUT if you’ve lost a shoe it’s a great way to make a single shoe useful again.
This is also really helpful for people with differently sized feet – they need to buy two pairs just to have a fitting pair.
Another important reason shoe swaps work is an issue you may never have even thought about – amputees who only really want one shoe have to buy a pair when they visit a shoe store.
> Host a Shoe Swap Party
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How Often Should You Replace Everyday Shoes
The answer to this question lies in your shoes. Different shoes have different lifespans, so it depends on the model and material of your shoes as well as how often you wear them.
Some people say that shoes have to be replaced every 500 to 600 kilometres, even though they may not seem to be worn out. However, I’m not so sure about that. A typical pair of leather dress shoes will last about five years if properly maintained. Shoes with rubber soles usually last around three years. And if shoes are kept in a dry location and fixed before they become “uncomfortable or painful,” then shoes can last up to ten years.
The most important element of a good shoe is stability, and if your shoes no longer provide stability nor comfort, you may even injure yourself. So long story short, the general rule of thumb is that if your shoes start causing any pain or discomfort before you’ve had them for one year or if you fixed them and they start causing pain again, it’s probably time to replace them.
How To Recycle Your Old Shoes
Lets start with some immediate options.
So, what to do with your old shoes? There are two main options available:
If you plan to donate them to a local charity, be sure to check the condition. Most charity stores only want gently loved items so others can reuse them.
If your old shoes or sneakers have holes in the sole, no tread left, or have seen better days, definitely consider one of the other recycling options. Otherwise, they might end up in a landfill.
When donating your shoes, be sure and check they are clean. Tie both shoes together, so they dont get separated. After all theres no point in donating, only to have them get separated on the way to their new home.
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Ask A Sustainability Expert: How Do I Recycle My Worn
Shoes destined for recycling via Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program.
Even for fashion and beauty lovers who think sustainability is important, wading through all the sometimes-conflicting information about it can be tricky. To combat the confusion, we’re asking scientists, researchers and other authorities to answer all your most pressing questions in our column Ask a Sustainability Expert.
Dear Fashionista: What’s the most responsible way to dispose of shoes once they’re worn past the point of no return? I don’t want them to end up in a landfill, but I know I can’t just put them out on the curb with my cardboard and glass for recycling.
Perhaps your soles look like Swiss cheese or your high heels are so chewed up you’re telling people the dog got ahold of them. If it’s time to retire your loved-to-death footwear and you’re looking for responsible, sustainable ways to do so, there’s good news and bad news: You have options, but none of them are perfect.
Of the 24.2 billion pairs of shoes manufactured globally each year, experts say that most of them end up in a landfill or incinerator, because there are simply too many shoes and not enough recycling solutions.
“When you are generating this much product, most of it is sent back to landfill,” says Dr. Sahadat Hossain, the director of the Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Can You Put Shoes In The Recycling Bin
Dropping your shoes in the recycle bin is only a good idea if you have double-checked two things. One, that the shoes were manufactured from a single material, and two, that your local recycling facility accepts them.
If your shoes are made from only a single recyclable plastic or a natural material like cotton, hemp or wool, you’re good to go. This takes the messy mix of multiple materials out of the equation and makes it more likely that your local recycling facility will accept them. However, I’ll say it again: verify if they will accept them! Give them a call or stop by their headquarters, check all boxes before you put them in your recycling bin.
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Have Outdated Patagonia Gadgets Theyll Donate
Patagonia accepts donations of all the models personal merchandise, regardless of how outdated or what the situation, which they recycle into their very own future manufacturing. They not solely supply credit in the direction of future purchases, however they may also restore your gadgets for those whod prefer to preserve them going robust.
Host A Sneaker Drive Fundraiser
To make the most impact for these programs, get your runner friends together and host a sneaker drive fundraiser to help people in need.
GotSneakers offers $1.00 per pair of sneakers collected so that you can raise money for the cause of your choice, while collecting more footwear for those in need than you could send in on your own.
GotSneakers will even provide you with a free fundraising kit full of marketing materials and collection bags!
Finding new uses for old running shoes is an eco-friendly way to declutter your closet and put worn soles to good use. You can enjoy new sneakers as often as necessary to keep your feet safe and supported while running and know someone is benefiting from your previous pair.
Learn more about hosting a sneaker drive fundraiser with GotSneakers today!
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