Recycling your old shoes and socks

Collaborations, Recycle

On average every person in the UK owns seven pairs of unused shoes, according to a study conducted by Oxfam.

The benefits to recycling old shoes include reducing landfill waste, decreasing your carbon footprint and supporting developing nations. Decomposing shoes cause problems for the environment as the breaking down of shoe materials releases methane which then contributes to climate change. Also, soil-transmitted infections, which affect a proportion of the global population, can be prevented by you providing your old footwear.

Pass on your shoes to charities even if your footwear isn’t in excellent condition. Not only will this mean that they can be kept out of landfill but additionally money can raise money from the sale of them and charities can often get ‘rag’ money for the unsalable materials.


Reuse-a-Shoe scheme is run by Nike. Old footwear is transformed into everything from new shoes to manufactured sports surfaces. You can drop off used shoes to participating in Nike retail stores.

sals shoes

Sal’s Shoes

The charity Sal’s Shoes have been donating shoes to children of several countries, including the UK, for many years. The public can post their shoes or deliver them to the main Sal’s Shoes office in Oxted.

Shoe Aid

shoe aid

Working with numerous shoe manufacturers, retailers and high street brands since July 2010, Shoe Aid have “Shoe Bins” points throughout the UK where you can drop off your footwear. These unused and unwanted shoes are then collected and redistributed worldwide.

ShoeShare with Clarks and RRSA

Since 2007 Rights Respecting Schools Award and Clarks Shoes are in partnership for the ShoeShare campaign which has involved over 300 schools to date.

shoe share unicef

Old or unwanted shoes are collected for re-use. There is over five hundred ShoeShare drop off locations in Clarks stores nationwide.

A donation is made to Unicef for every tonne of shoes collected. This helps to fund much needed worldwide education programmes to support the schooling of vulnerable children. Contact the Rights Respecting central team for a kit.


soles 4 shoes logo

Help the planet and change someone’s life by donating pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls.

Soles4Souls turn unwanted footwear and into opportunity. Kept from going to waste the donated footwear helps to provide relief, create jobs and empowers people to break the poverty cycle.

The distribution of shoes by Soles4Souls around the world creates sustainable jobs and provides relief. Your unwanted footwear and de cluttering will assist individuals in starting and sustaining small businesses to improve their standard of living. The shoes that are donated are a viable resource in aiding entrepreneurs to provide basic needs such as housing and food for their families.


Socks for a Cause

The sockshop are encouraging people across the UK to donate more socks to homeless charities – The charities, of course, would love any donations of new socks, but if you have some old ones make sure they are clean and not damaged

Here is a list of some of the larger charities and organisations which operate across the UK, and may have a branch local to you: 

  • Shelter
  • Crisis
  • Centrepoint
  • Big Issue Foundation
  • Depaul UK
  • Emmaus

Socks for a Cause

Get in touch

We would really love to hear from you, so get in touch now to see how TGCO can help

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