Shoes are one of our regularly used products. There are several pairs of unused shoes you have in your home. So what about those old worn shoes of yours? What will you do to them? Can you throw it in the trash after using a few months or a few years? Though throwing away seems the easiest way; honestly, it is the worst way to recycle your shoes.
Speaking of recyclable, some people may ask this question: Are shoes recyclable? Yes, shoes are definitely recyclable. Just donate your shoes if they are wearable or recycle them if they are not. Instead of throwing them in the trash and recycle your old shoes. Can’t we think efficiently to save our people and nature?
How to recycle Your Shoes and Boots?
Well, there are many methods to recycle shoes. I will cover all the possible ways to recycle your shoes and boots.
1. Donate old shoes to charity
As long as shoes are in good condition, you can donate them to charity. Many charity organizations accept your old stuff and give it to poor people free of any cost or at a low cost. They also accept shoes that are repairable and wearable. They repair the shoes and distribute them to different communities, such as homeless shelters or domestic violence shelters. Your one small step may seem nothing to the whole world, but it can put a priceless smile on someone’s face.
2. Sell them in a garage sale
If you don’t want to donate, sell them in a garage sale. Those who can’t afford new shoes, may like your shoes and buy them at a low price.
3. Find your shoe recycle bin near your home
Search for a footwear recycling bin where you can donate shoes. It will be easy for you if you can find one that is near your home. It is certainly one of the greatest ways to donate your shoes. Go to your nearest recycle bin and drop your shoes or boots into the bin for free. Many companies collect donated stuff at drop off locations such as ‘American Textile Recycling Services’. Some websites also do the same kind of charity work like “Recycle Now.”
4. Donate your shoes at Renowned Retail shoe brand
Another easy way to donate your shoes at any renowned retail shoe brand that accepts donations.
5. Go to a Thrift shop
Some thrift shops also do charitable work like ‘Goodwill’ and ‘The Salvation Army’. Thrift shops often get more donations than they expect. They don’t throw away the stuff they can’t use. They recycle unused old items. But some thrift shop does not even take worn-out shoes. So if you are familiar with thrift shops, just ask their authority whether they accept worn-out shoes or not. Lastly, make sure they don’t throw away the unused items in the trash.
6. Drop your unused shoes at the retail store
Many renowned stores accept your old stuff to recycle it. They will take your shoes from your home and properly recycle them. Even many of them will reward you for this kind of activity. Some stores will take old shoes and replace them with new ones. Doesn’t it sound great? You can drop your shoes in their retail outlet or mail those shoes to the address they have mentioned. Many shoe brands like Nike and Adidas do this kind of charitable work.
7. Contact with Recycling company
If your shoes are not worth wearing, you can still recycle them. As the shoes are made of leather or other synthetic materials, they can be easily recycled. Search online for recycling companies and contact one of them to recycle your shoes or boots.
How to repurpose your shoes?
If you want to reuse your shoes, you have to convert them into a wearable. There are many options to repurpose your shoes.
1. Repaint your shoes
Painting gives your shoes a new look. There are various ways to repaint shoes. If your shoes are made of leather, fabric or any other synthetic materials, you can use leather paint, spray paint or acrylic paint to make them good-looking again.
2. Turn your shoes into a planter
You can smartly use your old shoes differently. Plant your favorite flowers in the soles of your unused shoes. In fact, Sneakers are the best option to plant flowers. But you can also use high heel shoes or boots for planting.
3. Use your shoes as small storage boxes for sewing stuff
If you have untouched or slightly used baby shoes, use them as cute small containers for sewing supplies such as pincushions, little yarn bundles, needle felting, etc.
4.Turn Your shoes into Rug
After separating your shoes into leather, foam, plastic and rubber, they are ground down and reused as surfacing for playgrounds, track tops or carpet padding. Recently I:CO launched a partnership with Adidas to turn bits of rubber from running shoes into rugs.
Now you have a lot of options to choose from. Ultimately it’s your decision on how you want to recycle your pair of shoes. Here, I have mentioned some smart ways to select the best one for you. No matter what you do, please don’t cause any harm to the environment and our beautiful planet. Your small step may seem small to you. But it will surely create a great impact on the planet earth.