Equipment supplier hopes to get more smiles and miles from pre-loved kit through new charity partnership
Neuff has launched a UK partnership with Soles4Souls to collect gently worn kit for redistribution, supporting athletes and entrepreneurs to fight poverty.
Since 2006, Soles4Souls have distributed more than 50 million pairs of shoes and pieces of clothing in 129 countries, keeping more than 23,000 tonnes of textiles from going to landfills by putting them to good use.
Now athletes and runners in the UK can contribute by donating their own gently worn kit and sending it to equipment supplier Neuff.
Soles4Souls also distributes new shoes and clothing donated by retailers and manufacturers to people in need around the world. By partnering with Soles4Souls to collect shoes in the UK, Neuff are unlocking the potential to distribute free new shoes and kit to young people and athletes in the UK who may not otherwise have access to the gear they need.
Neuff will be working with the English Schools Athletics Association and a variety of triathlon and community organisations to create distribution networks. Neuff and Soles4Souls will also be working on the opportunity for para athletes to receive single shoes.
“At Neuff we care about our planet as much as we care about our sport, and we care about athletes too,” said the equipment supplier. “Lots of us have piles of pre-loved kit in the corners of rooms and it pains us to see them go to waste. What if we could re-use this kit, transform the lives of others with it? What if, just by having a clear out, we could support people, families, children, workers, athletes to enjoy a better life? Not just by raising funds for charitable causes, but actually by using the kit itself.
“Neuff has teamed up with Soles4Souls to collect gently worn kit for redistribution to hardworking entrepreneurs to build and sustain their own businesses selling donated shoes and clothing, and enabling them to fight poverty and support their families and communities. There are a lot of athletes, triathletes and just people who don’t have access to kit, and maybe there is a potential world champion whose talents we will never see as they lack the kit to train, and therefore the opportunity – or maybe just lack a pair of shoes for school or work, something that so many of us take for granted. These small businesses fulfil that need whilst creating jobs and opportunity.”
Triathlete and Neuff Red team-member Laura Siddall (pictured), who has worked with Soles4Souls for many years, said: “Soles4Souls is a great organisation, empowering women entrepreneurs to use these shoes to create jobs and break the cycle of poverty. I love knowing that my ex-best kit is now supporting a budding athlete to fulfil their dreams, or just supporting someone to give them a chance and opportunity to live better day to day.
“This partnership between Neuff and Soles4Souls in the UK is now opening up the possibility of supporting organisations in the UK, as well as the exciting prospect of helping para athletes with single shoes, creating yet another win-win of keeping single shoes out of landfill whilst benefiting people. It’s really exciting to bring these organisations together, and I’m really passionate that we can make a difference to someone, or so many people, through the power of sport, and just giving them a pair of shoes.”
Neuff director Matt Cunningham-Neuff said: “Neuff was founded to support athletes in their development, we have supported para athletics for many years and we also try our hardest to have ethical work practices, such as recycled packaging and Living Wages. So when Laura suggested we partner with Soles4Souls, we jumped at the chance.
“We are proud of this new partnership and looking forward to both receiving donated kit and developing the new distribution networks.”
Runners and athletes who would like to help the environment, support micro-entrepreneurs, enable disadvantaged athletes and declutter their kit drawers can send gently used, pre-loved shoes and sports kit to:
Soles4Souls @ Neuff
3 Abbots Close
Lee Mill Industrial Estate
See soles4souls.org for further information about their work.