SolesUnited by Crocs: A Step in the Right Direction

we mulled over the notion of whether colourful Crocs footwear might be the Birkenstocks for a new generation. Many respondents argued that without containing recycled content or at least a way of recycling the worn-out shoes they couldn't be considered 'green.'

Earlier this year Crocs seemed to have taken steps, if you will, to address these issues. Their new line of SolesUnited are made with grounded up old crocs. The new styles have 20% of this recycled content. Going one further Crocs plan, for 2008, to develop partnerships with shipping companies and worldwide non-profit organisations, so they can donate 2 million pairs of shoes globally.The countries likely to have their footwear poor citizens padding about in spongy clogs include: Armenia, Cambodia, Chad, Darfur, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Malawi, Mali, Moldova, Philippines, Romania, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. For example, in late 2007, 10,000 pairs of the recycled Crocs were donated to people throughout the Dominican Republic.

You can donate worn out crocs via your local retailer if they are an "authorized collection center" or mail them in.

And whilst we would normally advocate reuse and repair (ie, resoling) over recycling, this program does, on the surface, appear to have some merit. It keeps plastic out of landfill and provides footwear to those in need. Crocs aren't, however, being totally benevolent. The donation aspect appears to be predicated on the basis of you buy a pair--we'll donate a pair.'' Sort of like the award winning Tom's Shoes model. ::SolesUnited, via Green is Sexy

Tags: Africa | Asia | Footwear | Recycling | United States