Would you believe there is a fundraiser that allows you to reduce, reuse, recycle, help people around the world, reduce your carbon footprint, and help your YES! team fund projects? There is!
World Wear Project is a unique fundraising platform that partners with various organizations throughout the United States to collect used shoes and clothes. World Wear then processes the collected items and is able to write a check for the worth of the collected material. They have collaborated with entities ranging from schools to churches, providing them with a channel to reach out and make an impact across continents. To fully appreciate this, let’s follow the process from beginning to end.
First of all, the energy it takes to find that perfect pair of shoes is nothing compared to the energy it took to make those shoes a possibility. According to the European Commission, it takes 2,257 gallons of water to produce a single pair of shoes. That is just the water. This does not reflect the electricity to pump the water to power the machines nor the gas to get the shoes to your local Foot Locker.
Now that you have your shoes home, they are great. They have you running faster, jumping higher, and even looking cooler, straight out of the movie The Sandlot. This feeling will undoubtedly fade and they will just be shoes again. This is when their clock starts to tick. It may be weeks, months, or years, but eventually those shoes will likely be done for. So they are tossed in the garbage and off to the landfill.
With such an investment of resources, one would think there has to be something better to do with old shoes. This is where the World Wear Project comes into the picture. They have created a new path for shoes that does not end in a landfill. World Wear employs people to sort these shoes that are then sent to people who do not have access to good shoes. This means those shoes are not wasting away in a landfill but instead helping someone get around on their own two feet. With World Wear, everyone has the opportunity to make a small difference through an old pair of shoes; shoes that are sent all over the world for as little as a few cents and truly help someone while also helping organizations that they care about. Fundraising squared!
This demonstration of environmentalism and mindset of sustainability extends not only to shoes but also to textiles. With an average of 68 lbs. per person per year of textiles going into landfills to comprise 4% of the nation’s solid waste stream (Natural Resources Defense Council), we have to find ways to do better. Additionally, when some of the poorest people across the globe are making as little as $200 or less annually, even a pair of shoes can seem out of reach. World Wear allows us to do better on both fronts-environmentally and ethically.
Hey if the shoe fits, right?
If you would like to join World Wear and start making a difference, talk to your YES! coordinator to get signed up.
YES! teams participating as of 4/22/2015 include ACGC, BBE, Dream Technical Academy, Lac qui Parle Valley, New York Mills, and Sleepy Eye.