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Can I recycle worn-out running and hiking shoes and clothing?

Worn-out footwear
La Sportiva has a new recycling programme for worn out sports footwear and clothing (Image credit: Getty)

A leading sports brand has launched a recycling programme in the UK. La Sportiva is offering people an easy way for people to recycle footwear and clothing when it reaches the end of its life.

The programme is an extension to La Sportiva’s so called 'total life' approach, which starts with the design of products that they claim are 'built to last'. The brand uses quality sustainable materials, where possible. And ensures, for example, that footwear is easy to re-sole.

Now the recycling initiative will aim to fulfil  La Sportiva’s ultimate goal of 0% to landfill.

Initially, recycling bins are being placed in 25 locations across the UK, including climbing walls and retail stores, but this will be built on as the programme continues.

Footwear – it must be pairs – and clothing from others brand will also be accepted. 

The La Sportiva programme is run in partnership with industry leading recycling company SOEX (opens in new tab)

A spokesperson for La Sportiva says: “To make sure the product that’s deposited is dealt with properly, we have partnered with a SOEX. It is a company that specialises in recycling clothing and footwear.

“Firstly, any item that still has usable life is separated and put back into use. Worn out products are then broken down into their component parts and recycled into secondary raw materials, for instance leather and rubber. 

“Even the dust that accumulates when producing the recycled material is recycled, pressed into briquettes and used in the cardboard industry.”

Recycling locations: England, Wales and Scotland

Recycling location map

Map of La Sportiva recycling points  (Image credit: La Sportiva)

La Sportiva recycling locations (opens in new tab) are in England, Wales and Scotland, as far north as Glasgow and to the south coast of England. They will soon be open for use by the public.

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors (opens in new tab).