Most people don’t think twice about putting old shoes in the trash. After all, who would want their old beat-up shoes? But even if old shoes are no longer wearable, they can still be recycled, thus helping you do your bit for the environment. But if your shoes are still in fairly good condition, why not sell them. Or better yet, donate them to a charity?
Who Buys Used Shoes?
You might be surprised to know that there is quite a big market for secondhand shoes. Many people are passionate about buying secondhand stuff, and footwear is no exception. They know that by buying used clothing and footwear, they are preventing these items from ending up in landfill sites. They are also helping the environment by avoiding buying brand new fast fashion. This is because buying secondhand means that no precious resources such as water or energy were needed, and there are no carbon emissions associated with buying something that has already been made.
Why Donate to Charity?
If your shoes are wearable, then even though you don’t want them anymore, they may be perfect for someone else. Think about those who are homeless, for instance. These individuals struggle to keep warm and may really appreciate a pair of shoes that keeps their feet warm. There are many charity organizations that work hard to ensure that donated shoes get to those who need them the most.
Preparing Old Shoes
Before you put your old shoes in the bag for charity, take some time to make them presentable. After all, if you don’t do it, someone at the charity organization will have to and there are plenty more worthwhile things they could be doing than cleaning your old shoes.
Get a soft brush and clean away any dirt on the shoes then, if possible, wipe them down with a damp cloth. In most instances, this will be sufficient to make them look nice and clean. However, you might need to put those old sneakers on a cool wash in your washing machine to get them looking good again.
In whichever way you clean the shoes, make sure that they are fully dry before you put them in a dark, warm plastic bag. Use stuffed up newspaper inside the shoes to accelerate the drying process. The paper will absorb the moisture. You should then spray the shoes with a shoe odor spray. The makers of ShoeFresh shoe deodorizers say that this will help the shoes to smell fresh and will keep odors at bay for up to three months.
If your shoes have removeable insoles, you can clean these by soaking them in warm water mixed with a mild soap or detergent. Leave them to soak for an hour and then rinse them in warm water before squeezing out any excess water. Hang the insoles to dry before returning them to the shoes.
If laces are worn and frayed, consider buying a new pair to replace them.
When Should Shoes Not be Donated?
Donating your old shoes is a wonderful way to help those in need, but not all shoes are suitable. If you are no longer wearing the shoes because they are uncomfortable or so worn that they have holes in them, they are not going to be suitable for another person.
Before sending off your old shoes to charity, make sure the soles are in good condition and that there are no holes in the upper or lower parts of the shoes.
If your shoes are not suitable for charity, you can send them to a recycling center where they can be reused instead of ending up in landfill.