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Metro Brands announces recycling initiative this World Environment Day

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The company is aiming for 75% coverage of recycling old, discarded footwear and comprehensive coverage by FY 25–26

New Delhi: Footwear retailer Metro Brands Ltd. will strengthen its commitment to process old, discarded footwear (ODF) in partnership with ReCircle and other partners, to tackle environmental challenges, the company announced in a press release on Wednesday—the World Environment Day.

The initiative aims to reduce waste, lower emissions, promote a circular economy, and achieve self-sustainability through clear, quantifiable targets.

With an annual production of 21 billion pairs of shoes for a global population of around 8 billion, the disposal of old footwear has become a critical environmental concern. ODF, often neglected and improperly disposed of, ends up in landfills and oceans, exacerbating environmental degradation. The project helps informal waste workers (Safai Saathis) earn more, grow businesses, and create jobs while keeping old shoes out of landfills and oceans.

“We are excited to collaborate with ReCircle and our other CSR partners, to bring this initiative to life. This is a crucial step in addressing the environmental challenges caused by the waste generated by the footwear industry’s expansion,” said Aziz Fidai, Head CSR and Sustainability, Metro Brands Ltd.

In financial year (FY) 2021–22, Metro Brands processed 5% ODF under a pilot project. In FY 2022–23, they processed 25% ODF and by FY 2023–24 around 50% ODF was processed. Of this, ReCircle contributed by processing 1300 tons of ODF.

Relative to the fresh footwear pairs sold, this year the company is aiming for 75% coverage and comprehensive coverage by FY 25–26.

“This partnership underscores what can be achieved when companies come together with a shared vision of circularity, in order to respond to local urgencies in ways that are sustainable, both for the people and the planet,” said Rahul Nainani, CEO and Co-Founder, ReCircle, a resource recovery clean-tech innovator founded in 2016.

Metro Brands is a specialty footwear that opened its first store under the Metro brand in Mumbai in 1955. It a wide range of branded products including men, women, unisex and kids, and for casual and formal events. It also offers accessories like handbags, belts, wallets, etc. Metro Brands retails footwear under its own brands of Metro, Mochi, Walkway, Da Vinchi and J. Fontini, as well as certain third‐party brands such as Crocs, Fitflop, Fila, Skechers, Clarks, Puma and Adidas. The company operates 836 stores across 193 cities in India.

 

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