How Zappos and Allbirds are Helping Soles4Souls Turn Trash into Opportunity

July 17, 2018

Here at Soles4Souls we are committed to not only fighting poverty, but also protecting the environment. A troubling amount of textiles go to waste every day and end up in the trash. In fact, the EPA states that only 15% of clothing and footwear in the U.S. is recycled.

That means that 85% of discarded shoes and clothes, which equates to millions of pounds every year, end up in landfills. This statistic is important to Soles4Souls, because your unwanted shoes and clothing can be re-purposed to help create economic opportunties for people in need all over the world through our micro-enterprise programs.

For us, sustainability and fighting poverty go hand-in-hand! We are lucky to partner with brands like Allbirds and Zappos that share in Soles4Souls’ efforts to better lives around the globe by creating opportunity and protecting the environment.

Learn how they have contributed to our impact:

Zappos for Good

On average, Americans throw away about 70 pounds of textiles a year.  Zappos wants to help us reduce this number! To help us convert discarded shoes and clothes into an economic resource for people in need, Zappos now ships people’s unwanted shoes and clothing free to Soles4Souls through their philanthropic arm, Zappos for Good.

It’s as simple as packing your unwanted shoes and clothing into a box (up to 50 lbs.), printing out a pre-paid shipping label here, and then dropping your donation off at any UPS store in the U.S. Zappos for Good welcomes as many 50 lbs. as you wish to ship! Your donation of just one pair of gently-worn shoes can help a mother in Haiti earn enough income provide five meals for her family.

Since the inception of our partnership, Zappos for Good has kept over 151,000 items out of landfills by shipping them to Soles4Souls! 

Allbirds

Allbirds has generously partnered with Soles4Souls by donating shoes to help support our micro-enterprise programs, that create jobs in countries where sustainable economic opportunities are scarce. Soles4Souls utilizes new and gently-worn shoes and clothes as a resource for people living in poverty in developing countries to generate income by selling the product in their local marketplace.

In addition to sharing in our efforts to provide long-term solutions to poverty, environmental consciousness is at the core of Allbirds’ brand. The merino wool used to design their shoes requires 60% less energy to produce than the synthetic materials used in most shoes. Additionally, their insoles consist of green polyurethane from castor beans, an incredibly sustainable source.

By donating product and directing many of their returns to Soles4Souls, Allbirds is not only helping people in developing countries lift themselves out of poverty, but also sharing in our efforts to protect the environment.

We are incredibly thankful for Zappos for Good, Allbirds and all of our valued partners, who together have helped Soles4Souls divert 42 million pounds of textiles from our landfills since 2006.