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Crocs rewarding consumers for handing in their old shoes: ‘We can unlock innovation’

“We’re excited to take this next step on our path toward innovating for a circular economy and a better future for footwear.”

"We're excited to take this next step on our path toward innovating for a circular economy and a better future for footwear."

Photo Credit: iStock

Crocs-wearers in 10 states can now give their comfy footwear new life through a donation and recycling program. 

The plan from the popular shoe brand can keep heaps of footwear from piling up in landfills, provide others with (new-to-them) kicks, and help Crocs meet its robust sustainability goals.

How does the retail takeback pilot program work?

For starters, the program is so far applicable in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin, per a Crocs press release published by Cision.

Simply take your old clogs to a Crocs store in one of those states. Gently used Crocs will be donated to Soles4Souls, an international nonprofit that “works with entrepreneurs building secondhand apparel businesses,” per a report from GreenBiz. 

Crocs that look like they have gone through a swamp (there’s no shame in getting your money’s worth) will be sent back to the manufacturer, where GreenBiz reported the Crocs team is working on ways to reuse the materials. 

“We’re excited to take this next step on our path toward innovating for a circular economy and a better future for footwear,” Crocs global sustainability leader Deanna Bratter said in a press release.

Why should I recycle my Crocs? 

Crocs officials claim to make their footwear with a process far cleaner than many other shoes. While the company is working on a bio-based material, the clogs are mostly made from dirty energy sources, according to GreenBiz. 

If you throw them out, the clogs join 22 billion shoes that pile up in the world’s landfills each year, Sustainability Magazine reported. What’s more, in the United States, landfills contribute more than 14% of the country’s air pollution (methane), per government stats.

However, this is about more than waste prevention, as there’s also a fun incentive for recyclers. 

Crocs will be giving out “Crocs Saver” Jibbitz (a charm to adorn your new pair) to folks who recycle their old clogs while they last, the company noted in the press release. 

“Together with our fans, we can unlock innovation and partnerships to effectively reduce waste, reuse our materials, keep shoes out of landfills, and help people in need,” Bratter said in the release. 

Are there similar programs? 

Crocs isn’t alone when it comes to incentivizing recycling. There are organizations that will even pay you for second-hand apparel, some as part of a neat, second-hand clothing marketplace. Target is fattening pocketbooks (via gift cards) in exchange for old electronics, while Nikon is giving credit toward new products to customers who trade in their old cameras and lenses. 

The programs are all part of unique ways to shop and recycle that can earn you money while also helping to make our planet a cleaner place to live. 

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