TerraCycle® has created the Paired Shoe Brigade®, a free recycling program for clean, used pairs of shoes, as well as a fundraising opportunity for participants. The Paired Shoe Brigade is a simple and effective way to repurpose your old shoes while earning rewards for your organization or the charity of your choice. Instead of throwing your old shoes away, be a “Goody Two-Shoes” and send them in to give them a second life. Each pair of shoes is diverted from landfills.
All acceptable paired shoes are re-purposed and resold “as-is,” which provides the lowest carbon footprint when considering solutions for your used footwear. With help from our partner, all of the usable sneakers and shoes are exported to developing countries where there is tremendous demand for affordable and sought-after footwear. Because these shoes are reused instead of recycled, this Brigade has standards for the shoes being sent in.
Participating is completely free and very easy. There are no signup or participation fees, and the shipping is completely free. After joining the Paired Shoe Brigade, simply follow the steps below to recycle your waste with us:
- Join the program by clicking on the black button at the top of the sidebar.
- Collect acceptable pairs of shoes (see below for this distinction) and fill up a box or bag. To earn TerraCycle points, remember that your shipments must weigh over 25 lbs to receive the TerraCycle point donation.
- Download a free shipping label from your TerraCycle account. Click "Get Shipping Label" under the "Send Your Waste" option in the navigation bar at the top of this page.
- Ship the box to TerraCycle by affixing the free shipping label and dropping it off at a UPS location.
The following types of paired shoes are accepted through the Paired Shoe Brigade: Pairs of women's, men's, and children's shoes, which may include athletic sneakers, fashion or casual sneakers, dress shoes, flats, high heels, boots, and cleats.
The following types of paired shoes are NOT accepted through the Paired Shoe Brigade.
Paired Shoe Brigade UNACCEPTABLE waste:
- Completely broken or ruined footwear (footwear with visible holes or tears)
- Single shoes (even if they're in perfect condition)
- Roller blades or roller skates
- Ski boots or snowboarding boots
- Ice skates
- Sandals or flip-flops
TerraCycle points are an added incentive to our recycling programs. Please read the information below about earning TerraCycle points for this specific Brigade program.
- Your shipment must weigh over 25 lbs.
- You will be awarded two TerraCycle points for each unit of waste.
- Shipments may weigh less than 25 lbs, you simply will not earn TerraCycle points.
- You will not be awarded any TerraCycle points for non-compliant shoes.
TerraCycle points can be redeemed for a variety of charitable gifts, product bundles, or a payment of $0.01 per point to the non-profit organization or school of your choice. For more information on our points program, click here.