Start-up Tousand Fell pushes shoe recycling service: bringing a circular economy to the apparel industry

Tousand Fell, an environmentally conscious, consumer-facing footwear retailer founded in November, has released details of its recycling plan as a core part of its marketing to consumers,media reported. It is understood that the company has sold enough shoes so far to see early buyers start recycling them after 10 months of owning them.

Start-up Tousand Fell pushes shoe recycling service: bringing a circular economy to the apparel industry

The company expects to be able to recycle about 3,000 pairs of shoes per quarter by 2021, expanding its production capacity to 6,000 pairs.

By teaming up with United Parcel Services and TerraCycle, recycling services offer customers the option of avoiding throwing away shoes directly and paying consumers $20 in cash when they receive old shoes.

It is understood that TerraCycle, a recycling partner at Thousand Fell, has developed a reusable packaging model for milk delivery workers to replace consumer packaging such as dry goods, beverages, desserts, home and beauty products under the Loop brand.

In the retail industry, zero-waste packaging and distribution options are attracting investor interest, from distribution companies to innovative packaging materials.

Clothing and textiles account for 17% of all landfill waste, and shoes are particularly wasteful. Shoes account for 10 per cent of retail production, but about 25 per cent of textile waste, according to Stuart Ahlum, co-founder of Tousand Fell.

In addition, according to Ahlum, the company’s eco-friendly shoes sell for less than $100, making them easier for price-conscious consumers to buy.

Through this project, UPS will provide transportation services for the Tousand Fell sneaker recycling program and enable its transportation network to transport the company’s shoes.

TerraCycle’s presence allows Thousand Fell to ensure that old sneakers are sustainablely recycled and transferred from landfills. UPS said in a statement earlier this week that its Ware2Go business provides warehousing services for the project.

Meanwhile, TerraCycle and Thousand Fell are developing a closed-loop process in which old sneakers will be re-integrated into the supply chain to make new sneakers.

Through Thousand Fell, shoe buyers can track their purchase history and the carbon footprint of their sneakers on the company’s website and register their sneakers after they receive them. Upon registration, the customer can start the recycling process at the storage or ship the shoes directly back to TerraCycle.

“UpS, TerraCycle and Tousand Fell are the reverse logistics engines that drive the circular economy. It addresses the key issue of collecting old products from customers at scale and cost,” Ahlum wrote in an email.