January 7, 2009


Love ‘em or hate ‘em — Crocs are on a lot of feet.

But we take shoes for granted. Crocs, Inc. launched a recycling program, SolesUnited, in early 2008—in response to the desperate need for footwear in impoverished countries and areas affected by tragedy. They’ll sort, clean, grind, and remold them into new shoes. They’ve given away 2 million pairs already, most in Malawi. You can donate your old Crocs at The Campus Shop or Williamsburg Trading Post. By the way, in case you’re ever on Jeopardy, Crocs are neither plastic nor rubber; they’re Croslite.

Kudos to Nike — For their very successful “Reuse-A-Shoe” program that accepts worn-out sneaks—no matter what brand—and literally tears them into pieces. No dress shoes, cleats, or shoes with metal pieces.

This “Nike Grind” is used in basketball courts, playgrounds, tracks, and even new Nike products. In 2008, Nike donated five new basketball courts to help “Rebuild New Orleans Two Feet at a Time.” Worldwide, Nike has collected 22 million shoes since 1990. More than 1.5 million pairs of post-consumer shoes are collected for recycling each year. This is in addition to thousands of tons of manufacturing scrap material that is recycled.

Just drop them off at your local Nike store or outlet. http://www.nikereuseashoe.com/ for more info.

Payless Adds a Shade of Green to Its Footwear In 2009, Payless Shoes is launching a line of shoes designed to have a lower impact on the environment--a line of shoes that are made with organic cotton and linen, hemp, recycled rubber and biodegradable glues. The line will include up to 12 women’s shoes, and Payless plans to expand the line to include shoes for kids and men.

The shoes will retail, on average, for less than $30, and will be available in about 500 of the company’s 4,600 stores, with select styles in about 1,000 stores.