A new life for old shoes, Chile

Recycling a shoe is a novel concept for Chile where more than 100 million pairs of shoes are sold each year. Old and broken down shoes are almost never collected, destroyed, and fashioned into a usable item. However, Bata Chile has done just that with an innovative program that engaged their consumers with an important topic – giving consumer goods a new life.

Through the “Yo reciclo” (I recycle) campaign, consumers drop off their shoes at three store locations in Santiago. Thanks to a partnership with Midas Chile, the country’s first recycling company, the entire shoe is broken down through a cutting-edge process and is turned into rubber flooring for local schools and orphanages. Bata is the first company in Chile to help create these newly designed recycled floors, which prevent injury and are non-toxic for active children.

While donors received in-store vouchers, a number of consumers expressed that they wanted nothing in return – simply an ability to be more eco-conscious with their actions. The sentiment gained media attention and created public discourse around the circular economy and the potential for retailers to play a strong role in the protection of our environment. Volunteers also extended the collection campaign through school outreach in Bata’s Peñaflor community where children were also taught about caring for the planet.

In the successful three-week campaign period, the stores collected one ton of shoes, which amounts to 50m2 of flooring. Plans are to continue the campaign and keep invigorating our standing as responsible retailers in Chile.

1 ton

Shoes collected