Don’t Be Wasteful, Be…

Earth Day is here, and it’s time once again to consider the ways we can make the next year a little cleaner and a little greener than the one that proceeded it. When it comes to your aging footwear, though, this is sometimes easier said than done. While sneakers and flip-flops may lend themselves well to modern recycling, a once-great pair of stilettos isn’t so easy to melt down and remold. But don’t let that stand in your way – where recycling may fail, re-purpose and reuse can save the day. Here’s three great alternatives to chucking those old pumps into a landfill…
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Don’t be wasteful, be thrifty…

Just because a pair of old favorites is broken and worn doesn’t mean they don’t still have some life in them. As was true in our recent “Save Our Shoes” Post, a good cobbler can work magic, and sometimes a light restitching or resoling is all that’s needed for a new lease on life. Generally speaking, the higher quality the shoe the better the chances of getting them restored, but sometimes even a bargain pair can get polished up and returned to your rotation.

be generous…

Just because a shoe no longer meets your needs doesn’t mean someone else can’t love it. Donating your old shoes to worthy causes such as the Cinderella Project can help underprivileged high school girls get the prom they deserve. And even if your region doesn’t have any fashion-based charities, organizations such as Goodwill and The Salvation Army are great alternatives.

be creative…

Sometimes a shoe is beyond redemption, unsuitable for restoration, donation, or hand-me-down. But even then there are still alternatives to the dumpster. As we’ve seen before when fashionable sustainability champion Timothy Westbrook repurposed our own shoes for Lucky FABB last year, sometimes a worn out shoe is ready to be reborn as something even more fabulous.

You don’t even need to do anything too crazy – consider planting a daisy in that old pump for a whimsical flower pot. Or for a slightly larger challenge you can cut the details of old shoes to stitch together to a new purse that blends your favorite parts of your dear departed footwear. It may sound crazy, but it’s all been done before. In fact, we found a Pinterest Board dedicated to creative uses for old shoes – check it out, and maybe you’ll find a suitable afterlife for your own shoes.

Butterfly Sculpture made from old sneakers
Puff Paint makes old shoes into show stoppers!
Love those shoes for years to come by making them into flower pots.
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