FAQ

TreadLightly is a national recycling industry-first initiative that empowers, supports and unites the entire Australian sporting and active lifestyle community - including brands, retailers, manufacturers, athletes, and consumers - to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint.

 

We take unwanted sport and active lifestyle footwear and responsibly recycle it into retail, gym mats and playground flooring around Australia.

More than 110 million shoes make their way to Australian shores each year.

 

A quarter of these are sports and active lifestyle shoes from which only one per cent is recycled after use. The other 99% ends up in landfill or incineration plants.

 

The environmental impact is significant because shoe components take more than 1000 years to breakdown.

Yes, all material is collected, recycled and manufactured in Australia.

 

Our trusted recycling partner Save our Soles (SOS) manages the entire process, from extraction to product development at one of our recycling plants in either Victoria or Queensland.

We know there’s often a lot of mistrust and misinformation about recycling, so we have created an entirely Australian-owned and Australian-based recycling solution.

 

This is how it works:

  1. People can drop off their preloved footwear at a TreadLightly collection unit at any participating retail location.
  2. The footwear is collected, sorted at our warehouse, and taken to a local recycling plant for sorting and processing.
  3. At the recycling plant, shoes are cut into pieces, various metals and textile fluff are extracted and separated.

 

Reclaimed materials are used to manufacture new products such as gym mats, retail flooring and sporting changeroom flooring.

Yes, this is possible. Please get in touch with us at treadlightly@asga.com.au for more information.

We aim for 100 per cent of the shoe to be recycled! There are lots of different materials in a shoe that can be recycled including foam, rubber, leather, polyester and even metal eyelets.

For now we recycle only sporting and active lifestyle shoes. TreadLightly is currently working on solutions to implement to address waste from other elements of the sporting and active lifestyle industries. Watch this space for more details.

We take sports and active lifestyle footwear, including trainers, gum boots, leather sports shoes, slides and thongs, runners, and golf shoes.

We don’t take formal leather school shoes but we do take leather sports shoes.

For a full list of what we do and don’t take visit here.

If you have other footwear you’d like to recycle that we can’t take, we encourage you to donate them to your local opportunity shop or charity clothing store, alternatively, there are programs like Fitted For Work in Australia that repurposes work clothing for women entering or reentering the workforce.

 

Most work boots can be recycled through Totally Work Wear and we encourage you/consumers to ask your favourite retailers and stores what solutions they have in place for preloved footwear.

To find your nearest collection location, visit our treadlightly.asga.com.au ‘Find a Collection Location’ and enter your postcode. There are new collection locations being established all the time, so if you don’t have one near you, please check back soon for updates or ask your local footwear retailer to get in contact with us at treadlightly@asga.com.au.

The TreadLightly program continues to evolve and grow. Occasionally there might be a casual staff member that is unaware of the initiative. Please get in touch and we’ll try and rectify as soon as possible and will help you find your nearest store.

At this stage, collection boxes are only available to major sports and active lifestyle retailers, but you can take your unwanted shoes to a store closest to you to be recycled by TreadLightly. Visit here to find your nearest drop off point.  

TreadLightly is passionate about helping all students to understand the important role they can play in lowering their impact on the planet.

 

Visit https://treadlightly.asga.com.au/treadlightly-school-recycling-drive/ for information on competitions or to download resources for the classroom.

 

Please encourage teachers, students and parents to drop off their unwanted shoes to a local collection point!

 

And if you are looking to run one-off recycling events/drives, or you need some help with your school recycling initiative, please contact us directly at treadlightly@asga.com.au.

Treadlightly is operated by The Australian Sporting Goods Association, a not-for-profit membership organisation, and powered by our trusted recycler Save Our Soles (SOS).

 

TreadLightly is proud to receive the support of Australia’s key sporting and active lifestyle brands. For a full list of our recycling partners visit here.

The Federal Government also supports this industry-first recycling initiative.

Our recycling efforts would not be possible without the help of the entire sporting and active lifestyle industry including brands, retailers, manufacturers, athletes, and - of course - consumers.

Thank you for helping us to TreadLightly!

Many organisations are beginning to realise the importance of driving positive change and reducing their impact on the planet. If you’re interested in partnering with us please send us an email at treadlightly@asga.com.au

 

As an individual reduce waste and recycle wherever you can, and encourage your family, friends and colleagues to do the same.

The Australian Government has a dedicated website with more information on recycling if you want to find out more.

If your question isn’t listed here, please get in touch at treadlightly@asga.com.au