Soles United

Via on Apr 30, 2008

My Catholic elementary school used to send boxes of used clothing and shoes to missionaries at the end of each school year. I know it was well intentioned—and definitely needed—but I remember how depressing the boxes looked, filled with frayed clothing and dirty sneakers. It just doesn’t seem fair when half the world’s population is wearing the cast-offs of richer countries. That’s what makes Croc’s SolesUnited program so different—by recycling worn-out Crocs donated by customers in the States, they send brand-new shoes to people who need them. For many of the 1.5 billion people in the world who live barefoot, or just $1 a day, a pair of shoes is as important as medicine (protected feet mean less infections) or transportation (it’s a lot harder to walk to work or school when you’re barefoot). Because Crocs are durable, lightweight, waterproof and anti-microbial, they’re perfectly suited to life in the Caribbean and Africa, two areas where SolesUnited has been particularly active.But Crocs can’t do the job alone—the success of programs like SolesUnited depend on the involvement of customers like you. Find a drop-off location near you, and five your worn-our shoes a second life, instead of sending them to the landfill.

About Merete Mueller

Merete is a writer and filmmaker, and was once-upon-a-time the Managing Editor of elephant journal's print incarnation, from 2006-2008. Today, you can find her on Twitter @meretemueller and on her blog To The Bones. Her first documentary, "TINY: A Story About Living Small", about people who have downsized their lives into homes the size of a parking space, premiered at SXSW in March 2013.

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4 Responses to “Soles United”

  1. Susan says:

    I love this program!! Just need to go shopping for a new pair so I can send off the old ones.

  2. [...] Originally published on elephantjournal.com [...]

  3. [...] mainstream business attention (though Crocs, which everyone loves to hate, has given away at least 10x more shoes) and inspired eco entrepreneurs [...]

  4. [...] shoes. But its shoes are tough, waterproof, bacteria-fighting, vegan. One thing it’s not known for? Any kind of altruistic business model, at [...]

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