Shoes For Safety
In the US alone, approximately 600 million pairs of shoes are thrown away each year. The materials used to manufacture shoes are created from chemical compounds, the kind that will create health hazards if left to disintegrate openly or in landfills.
In a United Kingdom case study completed by the Department of Trade and Industry, found that 10% of collected secondhand shoes were not suitable for reuse and ended up in landfills. However, over 85% of post-consumer shoe waste was disposed of in landfills, not recycled. This is an unacceptable environmental impact, especially since even non-recyclable footwear can be a vital economic lifeline to individuals and families in financially-devastated countries.
Gently worn, used and new shoes are used in developing nations for impoverished people to start, maintain, and grow their micro-enterprise. Collected shoes are consolidated and shipped to these micro-entrepreneurs where they are cleaned and repaired. Because of this opportunity, individuals are able to feed, clothe, and house their families.
It is nothing short of amazing to watch the micro-enterprise philosophy at work, driven simply by your shoe drive. Unlike donating your shoes to a shoe donation bin or shoe recycling fundraiser, the shoes you no longer want or wear are creating sustainable economic means in countries where there is little hope economic stability. Recipients of your shoes through NMMAA shoe drive fundraisers are eternally appreciative and become incredibly resourceful with the products they receive. Micro-entrepreneurs repurpose every donation into a new pair of shoes or usable goods. Your gently worn, used shoes still have life-changing impact left in them.