Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rock/Creek and Chaco Collect Hundreds of Donated Shoes

Rock/Creek and footwear manufacturer, Chaco, Inc., announced this week that that on behalf of customers who participated in their Chaco Recycle Program, they will donate over 500 pairs of lightly worn shoes to Soles4Souls, who will distribute them to people in need. This year marked the 6th anniversary of the Chaco Recycle Program, which with help from retailers like Rock/Creek has collected over 14,000 pairs of shoes since its launch in 2004.

The mission of the recycle program is to encourage customers to donate their old but usable shoes rather than tossing them in the trash. During the two week program, Chaco and Rock/Creek offered customers a 20% discount on a new pair of Chaco Sandals in exchange for their donated shoes.

"I would not hesitate to say there are even more pairs of shoes than the 500," said Rock/Creek buyer, Chad Wykle. "I saw customers donate several additional pairs beyond the one pair required to receive the 20% Chaco discount. The Chattanooga community and shoppers really took to this idea."

Footwear donated in recent years has gone to support the elimination of hookworm anemia, a condition which is estimated to affect 1 in 3 people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prevention, through the use of protective footwear, has been proven to prevent hookworm anemia. Through one of the previous Chaco Recycle Programs, an entire village in Uganda was outfitted with shoes--a simple solution that completely eliminated hookworm anemia in the village.

This year donated shoes will be distributed by Soles4Souls.

Rock/Creek co-owner Marvin Webb said of the recycle program, "It's a good fit for Rock/Creek and Chaco, two companies who are both committed to sustainability. Not only are customers' old shoes diverted from landfills, but they also provide extra miles for people who need them. We're proud to take part in the initiative."

Brad McAllister, Sustainability Adviser for Rock/Creek, added, "Sustainability typically is defined as the long term balance between the environment, the economy and the needs of society. By offering customers the ability to recycle old footwear through donations to developing countries, and purchase a new pair of Chacos at a discounted price, the program touches on all three corners of sustainability. This is certainly a model program for all companies considering sustainability initiatives."

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