Like other articles of apparel, sneakers eventually reach a point where they’ve seen better days. When that time comes, don’t toss them, says Miami businessman Moe Hachem. Instead, recycle those gently used athletic shoes to Hachem’s company Sneaker Impact which will ship them to a developing country where sneakers are in high demand.
Moe Hachem is no stranger to the sustainability industry, having worked in his family’s textile recycling business, where he developed a passion to drive economic and environmental change. Knowing that sneakers are the most requested apparel from small business merchants in developing countries, Hachem founded Sneaker Impact in 2020 as a sneaker-specific upcycling company. The impact was sudden and dramatic.
“Sneaker Impact partners with small market merchants around the globe, shipping nearly half a million pairs of shoes each month to countries such as Haiti, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Nicaragua, Ghana and Thailand,” explains Hachem, who was
born in Lebanon.
Recycling sneakers keeps them out of landfills and provides opportunities for children to attend school and adults to work, he says. Having proper and affordable footwear – something many take for granted – is a luxury for the less fortunate in developing countries.
The way it works is simple and efficient: Sneaker Impact accepts shoes throughout the United States via pre-labeled shipping packages and drop-off boxes in various locations. Ultimately, Hachem’s goal is to have Sneaker Impact drop-off locations throughout the United States.
Donated shoes arrive at the Miami-based Sneaker Impact warehouse, where they are sorted, sold and shipped to micro-businesses in developing countries at a fraction of the shoes’ original cost. Once received, merchants refurbish and sell the shoes at affordable prices to members of their community who otherwise wouldn’t have access or means to purchase footwear. The process stimulates the economies of those countries by creating business and job opportunities where proper footwear is considered a person’s vehicle.
Sneaker Impact also partners with Miami-Dade Schools and Life Time Miami Marathon, as well as gyms and health clubs, retailers and other organizations and individuals to encourage donations of footwear. Retailers interested having a drop-off bin at their location are welcome to contact Sneaker Impact.
Sneaker Impact is headquartered at 7455 N.E. 2nd Avenue in Miami. For more information, please visit sneakerimpact.com or call 954-669-0456.