No running shoe need ever be alone
It's been a while since I posted at all, and even longer since I posted about ReRun, so I wanted to update you all to let you know what's been going on with my local collection of unwanted running gear.
During our various stages of lockdown I have been quietly collecting old and unwanted running gear from you all, right across Hampshire, on behalf of ReRun.
I've been amazed by how many of you have got in touch to say they would like to donate, and my garage has been groaning under the strain of boxes of shorts, t-shirts, trainers, etc that you have passed my way. Including three crates of leftover Eastleigh 10km race shirts which will now be winging their way to support a disaster relief charity somewhere in the world!
A special shout out to The Running Sisters, Salisbury Tri Club, New Forest Runners, Romsey Road Runners, as well all the individuals that have donated.
As way of a reminder, the team at ReRun collect running gear from right across the country and either resell it (if it's in great nick), up-cycle it into amazing new creations (see the example above) or recycle it if it's way past its best. Either way, they raise awareness of the problems with fast fashion in the running community and stop all our unwanted gear ending up in landfill. Why not check out their collections next time your'e thinking of buying something brand new.
But what I didn't realise was that they also run a shoebank where major running shoe brands donate shoes that have a minor manufacturing fault, leftover samples or customer returns that they can't sell. ReRun then distribute these to runner who, for whatever reasons, can't afford to kit themselves out but really want to run. So if you know somebody who has fallen under hard times, or a charity looking to support their members get running then get in touch via their website and see if the guys at ReRun can sort them out.
And finally to the title of my blog... when I was down there dropping of a van load of donations the other week I noticed a large container at the back of their facility labelled "single shoes". Curiosity got the better of me, and Dan explained it was full of single running shoes that sales reps and stores are given to use as demos and displays. "What the hell do you do with those" was the obvious next answer, and I wasn't quite prepared for the answer.
Well, when you think about it there must be an identical show for the other foot somewhere - shoe companies don't manufacturer single shoes.
So it turns our they get sent to a facility in Pakistan along with most of the other single shoes in the world, where they are sorted and paired up (as best they can) to create usable pairs of shoes that can be provided or sold to people that need and can use them. How simple, yet genius is that idea!?!
And of course before I leave you, a reminder that if you're in Hampshire and have any unwanted or unloved running gear, or a pile of race shirts you've earned but never worn, please don't throw them away to become landfill. Get in touch and send them my way, and I will store them in my garage until I can take my next van load down to Charlotte, Dan & Ruby at ReRun.