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This shoe company lets you 'sell' old sneakers for store credit — and makes it easy to buy gently used models for half price

About 90% of all shoes end up in landfills.

This shoe company lets you 'sell' used sneakers

Photo Credit: iStock

Swiss performance running shoe and clothing brand On has built its presence around sustainability — and now, it's looking to reward customers for helping to close the loop

From its CleanCloud shoes made from carbon emissions to its Cyclon circular subscription service that gives you new shoes and accepts your old pairs for recycling, On is focused on innovating sneakers and athletic wear without harming the planet.

On is beating a new path with its latest creation, Onward –– a resale site that allows users to trade in and shop used On footwear and apparel. The goal of this site is to create a circular lifecycle of its products. 


You can trade in your used On shoes by mailing them in. Once they're inspected and approved, you will receive a store credit.

If your sneakers get approved for resale, On will give you a $35 store credit on your next purchase. If your trade-in shoes can't be resold, On either donates or recycles your sneakers to divert them from a landfill.

On defines shoes that can be resold as shoes with no visible signs of wear, shoes with some minor signs of wear like faint discoloration or scratches, or shoes with signs of wear but plenty of life and performance left.

"We accept On shoes in good condition and cleaned before reaching us," the brand's site explains. "Generally, this means the item was not used for more than 50 miles and has plenty of life left."

To trade in, all you have to do is answer a few questions about your shoes, clean and package them up, and attach a prepaid shipping label to your package. 

Trading in On gear prevents these items from entering a landfill and polluting the environment with small pieces of plastics that can end up in our food and water.

Shop used

With its collection of secondhand shoes, you can buy near-perfect On shoes at discounted prices. 

We found a pair of the company's women's Cloudrock hiking boots, originally priced at $230, for $150. Add on the store credit from trading in your shoes, and you could save half of the original cost on shoes.

Buying secondhand gear combats the harm done to our planet by the fashion industry by lowering the demand for first-hand products and conserving the resources that go into creating shoes and apparel.

Onward impact

The global footwear industry was estimated to be worth $365 billion in 2020, producing an average of 20 billion shoes annually. About 90% of these shoes end up in landfills.

Producing a pair of shoes requires precious resources, such as water and energy. The production and discarding of shoes pollutes the air and water with toxins leached from synthetic materials, small plastic pieces, dyes, and gases from dirty energy.

These issues can no longer be ignored, and On recognizes this.

By reusing sneakers and their materials, Onward is diverting these items from landfills and helping to combat the issue of waste produced by the fashion industry. For those of you who have old shoes that you may want to sell or recycle that don't happen to be On brand, check out GotSneakers, which will give you cash for your old sneakers in any condition.

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