The Nashville–based nonprofit has launched a new campaign encouraging consumers to spring clean their shoe closets and donate their footwear instead of dumping it into the trash.
The campaign, which features the tagline “Give Shoes. Give Love. Go Green,” highlights the fact that 85 percent of all shoes and clothes end up in landfills every year.
Another staggering statistic from Soles4Souls: The average U.S. citizen throws out 70 pounds of textiles every year, which adds up to 21 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste annually.
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Soles4Souls is a longtime advocate of the sustainability movement’s “reuse” mantra.
Since 2006, the nonprofit has been collecting gently used footwear and donating it to communities in need around the globe. So far, it has distributed more than 30 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries as part of disaster relief, direct-assistance efforts and micro-enterprise initiatives.
As Footwear News documented last year on a trip with Soles4Souls to Honduras, the organization is highly focused on its micro-enterprise program, which provides budding entrepreneurs (frequently women) with repurposed shoes and clothing that they can sell to support their families or fund a small business.
There are several ways to contribute footwear to the nonprofit. To give a few pairs, visit the Soles4Souls website to find a drop-off location near you — or box up your old gear and ship it for free, courtesy of Zappos.com. And the more ambitious can host their own shoe drive by applying here.
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