Vans Lets You Recycle Your Shoes and Turn Them Into Park Benches, Phone Cases and More

Southern California sneaker lovers with old shoes, pay attention.

Vans began a pilot program across 24 SoCal retail locations this month wherein customers can drop off old or unwearable shoes. The turned-in footwear will be repurposed into park benches, phone cases, skateboard decks and more through a partnership with innovative recycling company TerraCycle.

The recycling pilot follows a sustainability push implemented by the lifestyle brand’s parent company, VF Corp., in 2018. Under the Circular Business Models pillar, VF aims to be an industry leader in promoting a more circular economy — with natural resources getting remade into new products instead of being dumped in landfills.

Customers who participate in the recycling pilot will receive points through the Vans Family App, which they can redeem for various rewards. Learn more about Vans’ sustainability initiatives at Sustainability.vfc.com.

All sorts of footwear (not just sneakers) will be accepted at the locations. SoCal residents can head to the following participating stores to trade in shoes:

  • Buena Park (8308 On the Mall)
  • Canoga Park (6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd.)
  • Chula Vista (555 Broadway)
  • Chula Vista (2015 Birch Rd.)
  • El Cajon (415 Parkway Plaza)
  • El Cajon (3451 South Dogwood Ave.)
  • Encinitas (1006 N. El Camino Real)
  • Fullerton (1501 S. Harbor Blvd.)
  • Goleta (7054 Marketplace Drive)
  • National City (3030 Plaza Bonita Rd.)
  • Northridge (9301 Tampa Ave.)
  • San Diego (1640 Camino del Rio North)
  • San Diego (324 Horton Plaza)
  • San Diego (4373 La Jolla Village Drive)
  • Santa Ana (2800 North Main St.)
  • Santa Barbara (623 State St.)
  • Sherman Oaks (14006 Riverside Drive)
  • Simi Valley (The Mall at Simi Valley Town Center)
  • Thousand Oaks (190 W. Hillcrest Drive)
  • Valencia (24201 W Valencia Blvd.)
  • Ventura (363 S Mills Rd.)
  • Whittier (16571 E Whittier Blvd.)
  • Brea (2050 Brea Mall)

Some of the brand’s other do-good initiatives include its annual Custom Culture competition for high school students, where teens create custom shoes for a chance to win scholarships and money to support arts education. Vote for semifinalists in the competition on Customculture.vans.com.

Watch the video below to see how to clean your sneakers using organic soap.

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