Published On: Fri, Jun 7th, 2024

Don’t Toss Those Old Sneakers. Do This Instead

(StatePoint) What if there was a way to reduce waste, create economic opportunities and improve global health?

Thanks to social enterprise Sneaker Impact, and its partners like Rack Room Shoes, now there is. Here’s how it works:

Anyone can recycle their gently used sneakers at any Rack Room Shoes location by simply dropping them into the collection boxes found in each store. The sneakers are then shipped to Sneaker Impact’s headquarters in Miami, Florida, where they are sorted for distribution.

  • International Distribution: Usable sneakers are shipped to small businesses in developing countries. Local merchants revive and resell the sneakers, providing affordable footwear to children and adults in those communities. This initiative empowers local businesses and promotes sustainability by keeping sneakers out of landfills.
  • Shoe Recycling: Sneakers that are not suitable for international distribution are delivered to a recycling facility in Florida. There, they are converted into energy that benefits Broward County and surrounding areas. Moreover, Sneaker Impact has been working on finding an alternative, circular economy solution for all footwear deemed end of life.

Since its inception, Rack Room Shoes has collected an average of nearly 600 pairs of usable sneakers each month. The retailer aims to raise awareness about the program and increase sneaker collections to create a lasting social and environmental impact.

In addition to the partnership with Rack Room Shoes, Sneaker Impact donates $1,000 per month to Shoes That Fit, a national nonprofit organization that provides shoes to students in need in an effort to help them focus on their studies.

Visit your local Rack Room Shoes store to find a recycling co-branded box and aid in reducing waste and supporting communities. To learn more about Rack Room Shoes Gives sustainability efforts visit https://www.rackroomshoes.com/responsibility/gives.

Whether you have kids with rapidly growing feet, or you walk and run often, you likely go through lots of pairs of sneakers. Thankfully, now there’s a great alternative to tossing them that benefits both people and the planet.

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