Written by for Inside Out Style Blog. Find the original article here.

Old socks with holes in them or just odd socks that have lost their pair?

Worn out grubby sneakers?

These are often apparel items that just get tossed in the bin, not good enough to give to any thrift store. I mean who wants your stinky old socks and shoes?

How to Recycle Your Old Socks and Sneakers

Rather than throw them in the bin so they become landfill, why not recycle?

Did you know that globally, one truck full of textile waste is dumped into landfill or burnt every second?

In Australia, 501 000 tonnes of textiles are discarded into Australian landfill annually.  This means that Australian’s are on track to produce enough textile waste to cover the surface of Australia by the year 2030.  Definitely not a statistic to be proud of.

If you want to be a part of the change for good, to get this statistic down.  Of course, the obvious thing is to avoid fast fashion, to purchase consciously and with care, finding the clothes that really work for you, your life,  your personality, your colouring, your style, then keep and wear these for a number of years before recycling them.

But what about those old socks and single socks that need to go?

What to Do With Your Old Socks to Save the Planet

In Australia, there is a great new earth-friendly way you can dispose of your old, unwanted, single socks and those ones with holes in them (which you’re not allowed to donate to charity anyway) – can now be recycled by Manrags (as long as you’ve given them a wash first).

All you have to do is purchase a compostable satchel for $2 and then send your old socks to Manrags to be recycled.  Anything wearable is upcycled and sent to those in need to be reused, while the others go to India where they are shredded and turned into yarns that can be used to produce new clothing and even insulation!

If you’re in the USA try mailing them to  Zkano who recycle your old socks into new textiles!

How to Recycle Your Old Sports Shoes

Nike has been taking the materials from old sneakers and recycling them.  You can drop off your old sneakers at any Nike Reuse-a-Shoe Store location in USA and Europe and in Australia take them to many Rebel Sports Stores and pop them into the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe or Save Our Soles bins.

Did you know that sports shoes can take up to 1000 years to decompose!   Wouldn’t it be so much better to recycle the rubber and other textiles in the shoes rather than causing more waste?

There are more recycling options for your unwanted old sports shoes in Victoria with the new Save our Soles recycling initiative and there is a list of places you can drop off your old sneakers here.

How About Your Newer But Not Getting Worn Sports Shoes?

Got some sneakers that are cluttering up your closet and are in good condition and you’re just not wearing them?

If your sneakers are still in good shape (and you live in the USA) but you’re not wearing them (I mean, who hasn’t accidentally bought a pair not quite the right size at some time or other) then you can donate them to be worn by people in need through Soles 4 Souls  find out how you can donate your shoes to them here.

You can also donate to Shoes for Planet Earth (Australia)

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