Fair Fashion

How to Recycle Your Shoes with #SocialShoeProject


Photo: Denise Krebs via Flickr

Who doesn’t love a good pair of shoes? According to Glamour magazine, we love them enough to spend over $25,000 on shoes during our lifetime, with the average woman owning about 19 pairs of shoes. This might sound like a few too many pairs, especially considering that one of the simplest (and hardest) parts of living a sustainable lifestyle is making sure that all aspects of your life are trash-free.

Despite our best intentions, it’s all too easy to fall into the habit of hoarding things that we don’t really want or need but feel attached to nonetheless. While we can’t all be Lauren Singer, (the superheroine 24-year-old who managed to produce so little waste that “all [her] trash fits in a single mason jar,” ) with the help of Walkable Collections we can still declutter our lives while making sure our preloved shoes are kept out of landfills and make their way into into the lives of those who would benefit from it most.

Wearable & Walkable Collections is a New York City-based for-profit organization that handles the logistics of clothing donations and donates a portion of their proceeds to their charitable partners. By bringing convenience to clothing and shoes recycling, they are able to divert textiles and materials from landfills. Watch the video below to find out how it works:

Even cooler is that now you can see for yourself how your donations can positively effect the lives of others. #socialshoeproject is a way for you to get to know the specifics of where, what town, and on whose feet your shoe donation ends up. The process is easy – download a tag from the #socialshoeproject website and place them on your next shoe donation. Then, add #socialshoeproject and include your social media handle (preferably Instagram), which Walkable Collections will use to track and connect you to the person who will enjoy your preloved items next.

Wearable & Walkable Collections collect used clothing, shoes and textiles weekly at 26 greenmarket locations in New York City in partnership with GrowNYC. Find your location here!

Soyo Hong is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. An artist and writer in NYC, she is a regular contributor to digital platforms such as Animal New York, Hopes&Fears, and Ratter.