Southern California-based retailer Shiekh Shoes has partnered with Converse on a sneaker recycling program that will turn old pairs of Converse kicks into building material for new playgrounds — or at least for the rubber mats and pellets found under jungle gyms.
Customers can now drop off a pair of used sneakers at one of the Shiekh Shoes locations in Compton, Culver City, Lakewood, Carson, Glendale or San Diego — or at one of its three L.A. stores, on Hollywood Boulevard, Pico Boulevard or South Broadway, which opened earlier this year.
For each pair donated, the customer will receive $10 off a new pair of Converse — plus a chance to be touted online. Shiekh Shoes will be photographing some of the sneakers and sharing the images on their social media, along with a shout out to the former owner.
Converse, with help from its parent company Nike Inc., has been recycling sneakers since 2011. As part of the program, the sneakers are shipped off to a facility where the rubber outsole, foam insole and fiber are separated and then ground up to be used for other things.
For instance, in addition to playground surfaces, the rubber has been used for athletic tracks and gym floors. The ground-up foam can serve as cushioning for outdoor basketball and tennis courts. And the repurposed fiber can help create cushioning pads for indoor wood courts.