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22

Nike grinds up worn-out athletic shoes to make sports surfaces. They even use the fabric parts: http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/better-world/reuse-a-shoe Leather shoes are a bit different, but many modern dress shoes use rubber and plastics in the soles. In theory, those soles are recyclable but it looks like Nike only takes athletic shoes. I couldn't find ...


17

One idea is to repurpose/upcycle them as planters. I saw this one at a street fair in Jerusalem last week. The artisan manning the table said that it requires only one change - drill or cut a hole in the bottom for drainage.


16

While this doesn’t answer of how to dispose of any which shoe, it may point to the types of products that are designed in more sustainable ways to begin with. There are manufacturers like Okabashi (flip-flops and sandals) that ask their customers to return worn-out shoes to them for discount towards new pair, and fully recycle it.


14

these are shoes that can't be re-used. Without pictures, I can only guess here. But, if you're (a) in the US, and (b) have the time and internet access to be posting here, there's a good chance you still have a higher standard for usable footwear than many people in the world. If that's true, then I would recommend donating them. (If not, consider this ...


12

I have heard that disposables use less energy than reusables if you also use hot water and they dryer. But it seems that many experts disagree. Most of the energy that goes into reusable diapers is in heating the water and the dryer. So, the colder the water you're using and less often you dry them the better off you are. Using rain water and/or solar ...


9

The most sustainable way to do anything is by following the three R's: Reduce, reuse, and recycle, and in that order. First, you want to find high-quality shoes that last a long time. This Reduces the number of shoes you have to buy/throw away. We've been conditioned to believe that shoes "just wear out" after a couple of years by companies highly ...


8

Bamboo Pros Bamboo is a perennial grass. You don't need to put annual effort and energy into it's cultivation. You don't need to disturb the soil, so the soil ecosystem stays intact. NO Soil Erosion! Bamboo suppresses the growth of other plants (weeds) around it so it requires NO Herbicides. Bamboo is VERY hardy against pests and diseases so it requires ...


8

You can use old nylons as Stuffing for pillows/cushions Polishing or cleaning cloth (no worry that you'll make scratches, plus it's great for attracting dog and cat hair). Hanging storage to dry unions As a filter in a drainpipe (e.g. to keep any leaves out of your rain barrel) Protection cover for fruit (this one is not from personal experience, but I've ...


7

Here is a helpful and more general listing for athletic shoes: http://www.recycledrunners.com Portland, OR also has a shoe recycling program for non-athletic shoes, although you cannot include them in your curbside bin you can bring them to Far West Fibers recycling centers. So it seems worth checking with your local recycling center to see if they are ...


7

I've used them as ties to fasten tomato bushes to trellises. They work pretty good for that. Curious to see what others come up with.


7

I am a hand knitter who occasionally toys with buying a knitting machine. I have not used one personally, but I do know of the following forums with machine knitters who can help you find the right machine: Ravelry.com is an online knitting forum that most of the knitters I know use to find patterns and yarn and share work. It also has a machine knitting ...


7

Cotton industry produces hundreds of time more volume than the Hemp industry does. Cotton: world production estimate is about 25 million tonnes. Hemp: approximately 37000-45000 tonnes fiber - most of it used by the specialty paper's industry It allows cotton industry to do huge Economies of scale, making the size of the primary intrans and transportation ...


7

I think there are textile recycling collection points in Germany. E.g. http://www.altkleider.net/. Maybe ask at your local city office for more information. Otherwise, composting is better than land-fill or burning, but recycling the fibres would turn out to be much more sustainable (just as for paper).


6

No. Sometimes yes, but often enough no - so that looking at whether a brand is 'luxury' or 'supermarket' is not a good replacement for looking at the actual sustainability of the product. I can't cite a single, unified source, but when I read independent test reports of a variety of products, price or the fact there's a recognised brand is a poor indicator ...


6

Counties do not produce clothes, people do, companies do but not countries. My answer is if you want to buy ethical stuff (whatever it means) - buy local stuff where you can see people who made it and check production process, supplying chain and others. For sure you'll find "unethical clothes" MADE IN DENMARK and "ethical clothes" MADE IN CHINA.


6

Benefits of Buying Used Clothes This article in ecotextiles claims 100-340 MJ energy input per kg of weaved cloth (flax and cotton on the lowest on the list, nylon the highest). Additionally the textile industry is the number one industrial polluter of fresh water and releases up to 2000 different chemicals into the environment (if someone knows more about ...


5

I use old tights for jar covers while sprouting lentils - they provide enough air while not letting flies or pests in. If you brew kombucha or water kefir you could use tights for the same purpose (for first fermentation stage or if you don't care about carbonation).


5

The sustainability of fiber farming Cotton, Bamboo, and Hemp all depend heavily on the cultivation methods being used. That being said we can compare the function stacking ability of these crops. Organic Cotton is an perennial plant that is grown as an annual crop so requires effort and Energy every year to get the crop started. It also require a great deal ...


5

This question reminds me of Can I recycle plastics at home by melting and molding? Recycling paper at home in that it is asking if it is possible to do some industrialized process at home. Well, of course it is, but that's only because anything is possible. I think there are two ways of making bamboo fabric, sometimes called "bamboo rayon" and "bamboo ...


4

I found more information about this, and since there hasn't been a single answer so far I'm going to self-answer my question based on what I found. Information sources There is a EU-sponsored research project called MERMAIDS that investigates this problem and links to various related and interesting news articles. The Plastic Soup Foundation is ...


4

Along the lines of m.w.jacobsen's suggestion, if you've planted a new tree, they are great for tying the tree to stakes while its roots develop. They are also great for cleaning walls in your house, because they don't leave any lint behind.


3

I found this site whilst looking for shoe recycling in the UK. I've found European Recycling Company which is my preferred because they sort everything 400 hundred times!! and reuse everything including zips, buttons, rivets etc. even the dust from the process, but I don't know if they do US. Also Rethink Recycling - maybe. But Swalco definitely is in US ...


3

These folks are called the American Textile Recycling Service. They take shoes, and although I do not see them specify on the website what they do with them, they recycle/upcycle/keep them out of the landfill. http://atrscorp.com/


3

I just found yesterday a youtube video related to this topic (also in german). Of course the video is a kind of investigative journalism and maybe doesn't mention all important facts. But if this is the truth, all people who throw away their clothes in container of social organisations like the red cross in germany (also called Altkleidersammlung) should ...


3

Well old shoes can be converted into gasoline by a process known as thermal depolymerisation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_depolymerization). In fact this is not a very complex process. The energy required for the process however might not make it profitable. Then again installed solar panels require subsidies to be viable.


2

Good call mentioning American Textile Recycling Service in this answer. You can find convenient ATRS Clothing & Shoe Recycling drop offs in over 13 states nationwide. And it's easy to mail in a box of recycling too! Everything is reused, repurposed or redistributed - nothing goes to waste. Every pound is diverted from our landfill and helps a local ...


2

Re "...the higher price of prestigious brands is usually dictated by costs such as craftsmanship, design and marketing...", I have to disagree, at least as a general rule. Perhaps more is spent on marketing to convince the gullible that say a Cadillac Escalade is more "prestigious" than the virtually identical Chevy Tahoe, but will it really last longer or ...


2

Main considerations: source of materials. Obviously more oil is a bad thing. This casts aspersions on any plastic too. Longevity. A shoe that lasts for 10 years is a 20 times the value of one that lasts for half a year. Cost of making. Cost is a measure of crystallized sweat. Energy. Labour. Cheaper is better. Cost != Retail Price, although ...


2

Polar fleece cloth is Polyethylene terephthalate (C10H8O4) sometimes brand named Dacron. It is the same synthetic organic used to make plastic soda bottles, but it isn't generally recycled in its textile form. If that is the kind of fleece you mean, then cotton probably more naturally fits into the original cycles of the earth's biosphere. Cotton may ...


2

The biggest impact is that you will contribute to the problem of microplastic pollution. I cannot find any studies on this but I would think that this negative effect would outweigh the positive effect of bringing attention to ocean pollution. In fact, by presenting the products as a solution you might prevent a real solution to all plastic pollution (...


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