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Shoe Recycling

Golf Shoes

Approximately 300 millions of shoes are purchased each year in the UK. Shoe prices have decreased in recent years, due to lower costs of production (unfortunately sometimes slave labour in other developing countries). This has made it more unlikely for adults to buy used footwear. Young people in particular will buy shoes and then throw them out when they become 'unfashionable' rather than because they have worn out. Charity shops tend to be given more shoes than what they can sell. Many shoes also end up in the bin. Shoes are made out of a variety of materials, so when burnt, they can release harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Did you know that over 2 million shoes are thrown away every week in the UK?!

Where can I take my shoes to be recycled or re-used?

Shoes, in reasonable condition, can be taken to either a textile recycling bank, or a separate shoe bank (these are usually situated together). Alternatively, take them to your local bring bank, where many have recycling facility for shoes. Make sure you pop the shoes, tied together, into a bag before taking them.

Alternatively, if your shoes are in good condition, get your mates together and have a shoe and clothes swapping party. Save some money, bag yourself a new wardrobe, and save the planet too!


What happens to these shoes?

Once these shoes are collected and sorted for suitability, they are usually sent to developing countries around the world. They are sold to l9ocal tradesmen who then refurbish the shoes and then sell them on. This creates much needed local employment and a supply of shoes for people who need them, at affordable prices.

Further information

Check out Fashion UK, which is a funky fashion website that regularly features recycled shoe and textiles information.

Fashion UK

Nike also has a Reuse-A-Shoe program, check out the link below for more information on this.
Little shoes

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