It’s always difficult to know what to do when clothes or shoes are too old to wear anymore. Some old clothes can be cut up into towels or reconfigured to be curtains or napkins, but what about shoes? When a pair of sneakers is past it’s prime, the only thing you can do is throw it in the trash can and whisper your apologies to the planet.
According to Soles4Souls, more than 300 million pairs of shoes were thrown away in 2011. This is an enormous amount of textile waste, not to mention it just feels wrong knowing there are millions of people around the world without any shoes at all. Shoe recycling programs do exist, but none are as convenient as your curbside recycling bin. That’s why Gary Gagnon, a creative entrepreneur and diligentd recycler from North Carolina, decided to create a footwear solution that would close the loop.
Launched by a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, Remyxx sneakers are the world first “landfill-free,” 100 percent recyclable sneakers. Made from a closely guarded blend of plastic, polyresin “”canvas,” and rubber, Remyxx shoes resemble something of cross between Keds and Chuck Taylors. Created in a wide variety of bold colors and funky patterns, they’re designed to appeal to all ages.
Ultimately, at the end of their lifecycle, all parts of the sneaker can be “remyxx-ed” to make new products and materials, including a new pair of fully recyclable sneakers. “The #5 symbol prominently displayed on my designs does indicate that my sneakers are recyclable as I have technically proven and lab-certified they can go in with other #5 materials like yogurt cups and other food containers,” said Gagnon in an Ecouterre interview. “However, the ‘snag’ in dropping Remyxx in your curbside bin is that collection agencies and recycling centers will, at first, only see Remyxx as another sneaker that they will only think to pull it out of the recycling stream to throw it in the trash.”
To combat this snafu, Remyxx is dedicated to educating local communities about the shoe’s recyclable nature, as well as advocating that local municipal recycling programs allow them to remain in the recycling bin. Until more collection programs recognize the shoe, customers can mail their worn out Remyxx back to the company for guaranteed recycling. For their trouble, they will receive a $5 credit on their next purchase with Remyxx.
Look for the shoe to hit stores in October. Estimated cost is around $65.