Why Donating Your Shoes Is The Best Option
I know how shoes can pile up in the back of your closet. Whether youve outgrown them, theyre overworn, or you need to downsize because of lack of closet space, donating your shoes is the best option out there. Heres why.
If you think your shoes are worn out, it doesn’t necessarily mean theyre worn out for everyone else.
Unless they have holes, extreme dirt that cant be washed, or tears, your old kicks can still be of use to someone else.
The fact is, good shoes are expensive, and not everyone can afford them regularly. For a person worrying about the coming winter with only a pair of boots several seasons old, your discarded boots might make all the difference.
Ask yourself, how many of your shoes are truly worn out? Im sure theres at least one pair of old shoes in your closet which you dont wear anymore because you’ve got a new one that works better with your outfits.
So, why not donate?
Most charities only sell 25% of what we donate and export the rest to developing countries. This means by donating, youll be helping third-world countries develop their markets for worn footwear. These countries have whole systems in place for repairing “pre-loved” footwear.
For example, Guatemala has a sneaker-cleaning plant, while Pakistan resoles mens dress shoes in recycling facilities.
An average American buys a new pair of shoes every seven weeks, which amounts to more than seven pairs a year!
Ontario Federation For Cerebral Palsy
Find It: Items for OFCP can be dropped off at select Value Village locations as well as multiple donation bins located throughout Southwestern Ontario. They also offer free at-home pickup.
Why Them: If cerebral palsy is an issue close to home, this is where to donate old shoes. OFCP is dedicated to supporting people with cerebral palsy as well as their families by providing helpful services, resources & programs.
These programs and services are funded directly from the sale of donated items!
Added Benefits: No tax receipts are issued for non-monetary donations. You can, however, donate a whole slew of items including clothing, bedding, linens, toys, games, small appliances, etc. If youre doing a house cleanup, OFCP is the perfect place to donate!
Got A Closet Full Of Old Shoes
Then weve got some GREAT news for you were taking recycle shoes again! We are going to kick off this spring cleaning by hosting the BIG SHOE RECYCLE event at our Northeast and Cedar Mill locations on the weekend of April 10th and 11th.
GET A $10 VOUCHER!
Donate OLD shoes, get NEW shoes! We will provide a $10 voucher to be used on any pair of shoes over $90 for any shoe donation this weekend. We appreciate your commitment to environmental and community stewardship and want to see you keep those miles going with a fresh pair. Well have a big sale on our current models of shoes as well as last years versions as well. Do right by your community by donating, do right for yourself by getting some fresh sneakers, and GO BY FOOT this spring with Foot Traffic!
ABOUT THE DONATIONS:
We accept any ATHLETIC shoes for our recycling, ideally gently worn shoes that help our beneficiary the most. Please clean main debris off shoes for easier transport. That means shoes with dirt clods, dog waste, or grass clippings should be cleaned off as thoroughly as possible! We use the MORE FOUNDATION for our shoe donations. Click on the link to learn about their program
HOURS 10-7 M-F 10-6 SAT 11-5 SUN
SOUTHEAST FOOT TRAFFIC
HOURS 10-7 M-F 10-6 SAT 11-5 SUN
WEST SIDE FOOT TRAFFIC
HOURS 10-7 M-F 10-6 SAT 11-5 SUN
DOWNTOWN FOOT TRAFFIC
HOURS 10-5 M-F 10-5 SAT 12-4 SUN
VANCOUVER FOOT TRAFFIC
305 SE Chkalov Drive 98683HOURS 10-7 M-F 10-6 SAT 11-5 SUN
Read Also: 4 E Shoes
Have A Community Fitness Challenge
Community fitness challenges can be almost anything! The only limit is your imagination. Consider hosting:
- A jump rope competition
- A jumping jack challenge
- A timed obstacle course
The goal can be to have fun, or you can form teams to compete against one another. If someone was kind enough to donate a venue, you could charge a pair of running shoes as the entry. That way, everyones having fun and saving the environment all at once.
Terracycle Zero Waste Box
You’ve likely already heard of TerraCycle for its other recycling solutions, but its Zero Waste Box is its latest endeavor in reducing our impact as consumers. For a fee of $129, TerraCycle will send you a box to be filled with “any form of footwear.” Obviously, this includes running shoes, but it also includes shoes like heels, boots, loafers and more. Upon return, they’ll separate the materials and either repurpose or recycle them.
We know the idea of paying to recycle will be limiting for some, but we suggest crowdsourcing funds through your running club or athletic group to make one of these boxes available for you and its members.
Learn more about TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Box, here.
Recommended Reading: Can You Buy Tieks In A Store
Other Ways To Donate Or Recycle Your Shoes
Donating your shoes so someone else can get use out of them is probably the best thing you can do with that old pair.
Stubins biggest piece of advice when donating your shoes: Dont judge your shoes too harshly. A good pair of shoes, even if a runner deems them no longer useful, can likely find a second life, he says.
Even if the charity you donate to cant re-sell the shoes to a consumer, they can still sell it to a recycler. So if a Goodwill sells clothing to Trans-Americas, we pay them for that material. Theres a market price for that material, says Stubin.
Programs like One World Running and Soles4Souls collect and distribute shoes and other clothing to people who need them. To date the Soles4Souls program has found second use for over 56 million pairs of shoes. Find a donation center near you here.
Soles4Souls partners with a lot of other high profile donation programs. The North Faces Clothes the Loop program, for example, will send your shoes to that recycling leader.
Also announced this month, Nike will soon start accepting lightly worn, good condition shoes into its refurbished program for resale in 15 authorized stores. You can also check with your local running store to see if they offer any sort of similar takeback program.
Shoe Cobblers Can Bring Back Shoes From The Dead
Shoe cobblers are basically some of the most creative engineers on the planet. They can take your grimiest, worn out, too-small shoes and polish, resole, or stretch them, completely transforming shoes that seemed landfill-ready to ones that look almost new. It cant hurt to call or swing by your local shoe repair shop with your worse-for-wear kicks to see if they can be brought back from the brink. Youd be surprised at the sorcery that happens behind the scenes at your local cobblers shop.
You May Like: Can U Wash Hey Dude Shoes
Post On Community Message Boards
If you want to keep your unwanted sneakers within the community, find a local recipient. Take to message boards either digitally or physically. While local Facebook pages can reach a decently sized audience, so can message boards around town or at the community center. Include a picture, contact information, and any other relevant details.
Chances are, youll find a new home for them, but if you dont, you can always donate them! The point is, avoid throwing your unwanted sneakers out if you can help it, which you probably can. That way, they wont wind up slowly decaying in a landfill.
Host A Relay Bike Ride
A relay bike ride is a great way to bring the community together while also burning a few extra calories. Have participants contribute a pair of athletic shoes for entry, or have them bring an extra pair along to give away at any point.
Theyll probably want to stretch out their feet after riding several miles, so take the opportunity to collect their sneakers. Remember to let them know how their contribution can positively impact the environment.
Also, make sure to map out the path and have volunteers direct the bicyclists on the day of the event. As with any activity, spread the word about the relay and the running shoe drive fundraiser well in advance. On any promotional materials, include the necessary details as well as the map and distance. Make sure to advertise the eco-friendliness of the entire event, too.
Also Check: How Often To Replace Sneakers
Ways To Recycle Sneakers And Socks In Australia
More than 25 million pairs of sports shoes are imported into Australia and according to the Australian Sporting Goods Association, just one percent are recycled.
Where do the majority of old, worn out running shoes and socks end up if they arent good enough to donate to charity? Thrown in the rubbish bin of course.
But in recent years, with rising awareness of environmental issues and increased business focus on circular economy, a growing number of sock and shoe recycling options have emerged to divert valuable materials from landfills and make them available for reuse.
If youre based in Australia, here are five ways to recycle your pair of worn sports shoes and socks if they are unsuitable for donating to op-shops:
Launched in 2009, Australian non-for-profit organisation, Shoes For Planet Earth collects used sports shoes and runners to provide to underprivileged folks in Australia and New Zealand, and in the developing regions of Africa and Asia.
There are a number of conditions to meet before donating sports shoes to the organisation:
To date, more than 83,000 pairs have been collected and donated to people in over 18 countries. To learn how to donate a pair of retired sports shoes, check out their website.
Related Post: 7 of the Best Eco-Friendly Running Shoes
Adidas are a ASGA SOS Shoe Recycling initiative partner. Photo: Karolina Grabowska.
Find A Local Shoe Recycle Program
Unfortunately, you cant just recycle shoes along with your plastic bottles and cans. Recycling sneakers is a more complex process, and most recycling centers simply arent set up for it. However, there are several recycling locations that do have the equipment and know-how to break down the material of your shoes and give it new life in another form. You can ship your shoes to companies like Terracycle who work with hard-to-recycle materials. Do some research on specialty recyclers in your area to find a suitable solution.
Reduce other types of plastic consumption
Plastic is in everything. If youd like to do more to reduce your overall plastic consumption, here are a few tips that can help.
You May Like: Can You Wear Steel Toe Boots On An Airplane
Here Are 6 Brands That Will Recycle Your Kicks
Currently, 85 percent of textiles are not recycled, with the average person throwing away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually.
In general, recycling shoes is a complex process and depending on the materials in the shoe it might not be possible. Footwear is difficult to recycle because most shoes are made using multiple, mixed materials which are often stitched or glued together, says Shaye DiPasquale a publicist for the recycler TerraCycle.
There is not a lot of physical recycling of footwear that goes on, says Eric Stubin, president of Trans-Americas Textile Recycling. The majority of recycled shoes and clothes are shipped places to be reused. Stubins company processes about 10 million pounds of post-consumer textile waste from clothing, shoes, and accessories every year.
In general, when clothing is recycled it tends to go to one of these four different end destinations:
Because of the concept, On was awarded the 2021 ISPO Product of the Year as well as a Sustainability Achievement award.
How To Recycle Clothing Shoes And Textiles
How do I donate usable clothing and shoes?
Contact local charities to find out what type of reusable clothes, shoes and damaged textiles are accepted in their drop off bins.
Can I recycle clothing, shoes and textiles?
Yes. Take clothing and textiles, even damaged goods, to any City landfill for free textile recycling. Our Throw ‘N’ Go bins accept a variety of textiles including:
- Shoes and footwear
- Purses, backpacks, wallets, and belts
- Household linens
- Reusable shopping bags
- Burlap bags
- Underwear, bras and hosiery
- Accessories like hats, mittens and scarves
- Cleaning cloths, rags, and scrap fabric
- Carry-on sized luggage, suitcases and duffel bags (these bags must fit in textile bin otherwise please take to a thrift store or donation centre
How do I prepare clothes for recycling?
- Even if the material is ripped or damaged, make sure that all clothing and fabrics are clean before bringing in for recycling.
- Place items inside a bag before dropping off at the City landfill Throw n Go. This helps keeps the clothing dry and makes it easier to collect.
- If you bring other garbage in your load, landfill charges will apply.
Landfill locations listed below:
Recommended Reading: How To Join Shoe Raffles
Upcycling And Diy Projects
Most of the recycling programs would be considered downcycling, yet that are ways that you can upcycle your shoes via a few DIY projects.
A popular upcycle idea is using old shoes as planters. Adding rocks or gravel to the bottom will help with drainage. Alternatively, holes could be drilled in the bottom of the shoe to allow the water to run out. Succulents are a favorite, but other plants can be used as well.
A search will yield hundreds of ideas on how to repurpose and upcycle shoes. A makeover could have your shoes looking brand new or even like a completely different pair. You have the option to make objects such as jewelry racks or birdhouses with unwanted shoes. It is also possible to make purses, wallets, or journals from the leather on an old pair of boots.
Perhaps one day, every shoe will be biodegradable. Until then, these are the best options available to prevent waste.
Are You Able To Restore Footwear
It is not all the time straightforward to restore trainers. Its kind of completely different for repairing the soles of many mountain climbing boots, however trainers are usually designed in such a method that resoling and restore is difficult.
Nevertheless, it is value trying on-line for operating shoe restore providers in case they will provide an answer in your favorite trainers.
There are manufacturers that provide reconditioning providers, equivalent to Vivo Barefoot, which has a service known as ReVivo. This repairs and re-sells outdated and undesirable Vivo footwear, offering decrease priced choices with a decreased environmental affect.
Its value checking with numerous operating shoe manufacturers to see if theyve restore and reconditioning choices.
Don’t Miss: How Do Baby Shoe Sizes Work
Make Use Of Your Sporting Goods Partnership
Sports teams typically purchase their equipment from a local sporting goods store. Often, theyll form an exclusive partnership with a specific retailer. Just like anyone can inquire about a running shoe drive fundraiser with their local running stores, teams can leverage their relationships with their equipment retailers.
Not only will the athletic shoe drive fundraiser earn an extra buck for your team in an eco-friendly way, but it will likely drive business to the store. Plus, growing companies are all about corporate social responsibility, a process that helps them develop a positive brand. To spread the word, team members can promote the fundraiser to family and friends, encouraging them to visit the business, make a purchase, and give away their gently worn, used and new athletic shoes.
Set Up A Recycling Bin
Setting up a recycling bin is probably the easiest way to promote the repurposing of running shoes with minimal effort on your end. Instead of relying on local retailers, you can use your own floor space to host the eco-friendly initiative.
All you need to do is partner with an organization like Sneakers4Funds, set up a bin in a prominent place , and watch the athletic shoes roll in! As gym members show up, check-in staff can point out the bin and let them know about recycling their gently worn, used and new sneakers. As avid exercisers, theyll likely have an extra pair or two they dont need anymore.
Don’t Miss: Dress Shoes For Women With Wide Feet
Host A Team Bowling Night
Your team may excel on the court or the field, but how good are their bowling skills? Spark a bit of competition between team members and supporters, and book your local bowling alley for the night. Since theyll already have to take off their sneakers to change into bowling shoes, encourage participants to donate them to your athletic shoe drive fundraiser.
To promote the opportunity, take to social media, and have team and family members spread the word for you. Make sure to let everyone know that the team will be collecting running shoes at the event. That way, theyll make sure to bring an extra pair to change into once the night comes to an end.
Purchase Sustainably Within The First Place
In a world during which customers more and more demand extra sustainable choices, some manufacturers are promoting trainers with a pledge that theyre extra environmentally pleasant. For instance, On, the Swiss shoe firm, sells a Cyclon shoe subscription that guarantees to be a closed-loop system. Cyclon is alleged to be a 100% sustainable shoe.
The footwear are created from castor beans and runners by no means personal the footwear. You run within the footwear, return it when worn out and also you get one other pair. The outdated footwear are recycled to make one other pair. The price is £25 per 30 days.
Salomons new Index.01 shoe is bought worldwide and is claimed to be a round life-cycle shoe. So long as customers ship it again, companions of Salomon will recycle the TPU and polyester into uncooked supplies to be used in different merchandise.
Also Check: Fake Toms Shoes