You can also mail your Crocs back ot the company if no local retailer
will take them. :)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Old Crocs are getting a second chance -- and giving
many needy people around the world their first pair of shoes. The
maker of the ubiquitous plastic shoes is launching its SolesUnited
initiative to the public, asking for donations of worn-out shoes to
be recycled and turned into new ones.￼
The company started donating shoes a little over a year ago when the
brand's materials scientists figured out a way to recycle the
plastic. But the plastic almost exclusively came from scraps created
during the manufacturing process.
SolesUnited marks the opening of the program to the public with many
retailers around the country accepting old shoes. It was to be
announced on "The Celebrity Apprentice" Thursday night.
Crocs are made of a proprietary closed-cell resin that expands and
contracts to mold to the wearer's foot.
"It's a great opportunity to give back," Crocs CEO Ron Snyder says.
"We've been very fortunate as a company."
Fortunate is right: Crocs was a small business founded in 2002 in
Niwot, Colorado. Last year, it was one of the most widely traded Wall
Street stocks, and it was named a top pick for this year by an
analyst at PiperJaffray.
SolesUnited shoes have slight design tweaks to differentiate them
from the traditional Crocs. Shoes recently sent to Malawi, for
example, were without the back strap found on the original clog-style
Crocs' distribution partner, the charitable Brother's Brother
Foundation in Pittsburgh has sent shoes around the world, including
Chile, El Salvador, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
During January, it filled nine oceangoing containers, each one
holding 10,000 pairs of shoes.
But, says Luke Hingson, president of Brother's Brother, this new
expansion will bring the program "to a whole other level."
The shoes are important in these developing countries because it
reduces people's exposure to foot injury and infection and they
simply can walk farther when their feet don't hurt.
SolesUnited Crocs are embossed to note that they use recycled plastic
and are intended for charitable purposes and can't be sold.
A similarly styled shoe, however, will be introduced in the U.S. as a
"They're unique. You'll know you're participating in the SolesUnited
program if you're wearing them," he says.