We're giving old sports shoes a new life

Each year, over 25 million pairs of sports shoes are imported into Australia. With only 1% estimated to be recycled, it’s a waste problem that requires an immediate and innovative solution. The ASGA and Save Our Soles, and a number of major sporting brands have come together to create the Save Our Soles Footwear Recycling Initiative Victorian pilot program to move the needle towards supply-chain sustainability.

With the Australian-first pilot program ready for roll out in Victoria, our goal is to divert worn-out sports shoes (destined for the dump) and convert these once useless waste items into a range useful recycled products.

ASGA will use the knowledge gained from the Victorian pilot program to develop a scalable model for sports shoe recycling Australia-wide.

Currently, we only have collection sites within Victoria. Updates on new collection locations will be posted on this page.


The Problem

The disposing of used sports shoes via incineration or landfill is not only a pressing environmental concern, but also a significant waste of valuable resources that have the potential to be reclaimed. Shoe components can take up to 1000 years to decompose – unlike organic waste – and with growing consumer demand for new shoes in Australia, an effective waste-management strategy is timely and critical.

Although some individual brands are currently undertaking valuable footwear recycling programs, there remains a lack of collective initiatives to deal with this issue; reflecting a serious roadblock in achieving sustainability in the broader sporting footwear industry. As a result, now is the time to take large-scale action and close the loop in the Australian sports shoe supply chain


Our Solution

The Save Our Soles Initiative aims to become the first national, industry-lead product stewardship program of its kind; providing an innovative solution for the collection, processing and reuse of pre-loved sporting footwear.

Our Victorian pilot program is already underway – with collection bins nearing deployment – in partnership with major brands including New Balance, Converse, Globe, rebel, adidas, ASICS, SportsPower and JD Sports.

This initial state implementation represents a profound opportunity for the research and development of foundational framework for sports shoe recycling, with the subsequent goal of serving the entire Australian footwear sector.


Objectives

The ASGA SOS partners, along with participating brands and retailers, have outlined a number of sustainability-focused outcomes for the Victorian pilot program:

  • Reduce the environmental impact of footwear sent to landfill each year
  • Develop a scalable model for sports shoe recycling programs Australia-wide
  • Promote participation in positive end-of-life programs across the supply chain
  • Reclaim at least 100 tonnes of pre-used sports shoe material for repurposing
100
Locations
17
Tonnes Collected
51386
Pairs Of Shoes

Are you a brand Interested in participating?