[Consumer study] How are consumers feeling about recycling shoes?

What are brands doing when it comes to sustainability? Recycling certainly is one option, including recycling shoes. But how do consumers feel about the concept? What do they know? We asked them in this consumer study.

Well, I do have a lot of shoes, and I do feel like recycling them will better the Earth and just help make a clean environment.

The methodology

In a few hours, we completed the study of 100 respondents through Voxpopme’s Influence market research online community (MROC) of on-demand consumers.

We combined quantitative and qualitative questions in the study, and the platform neatly packaged the results in one dashboard.


recycling shoes consumer study

recycling shoes consumer sentiment and insights

On the quantitative side, we asked:

  • Which of these items are you most interested in? (This was a screener question with only “shoes” answers advancing.)
    • Shoes
    • Pants
    • Sweaters
    • T-shirts
    • Other
  • Are you interested in recycling your shoes?
    • Yes
    • No

On the qualitative side, we asked:

  • How do you feel about recycling your shoes?
  • Would you be interested in recycling your shoes? Why?
  • Are you more likely to buy from a company that recycles shoes? Why?
  • How does this impact your perception of the brand?

Read next: Not sure what to ask? Check out Voxpopme’s tried and tested open-ended questions for video research.

The results

Here’s a  quick highlight reel of reactions:

The quant results

Most everyone said they are interested in recycling their shoes.

consumer interest in recycling shoes


The qual results

Respondents recorded a quick asynchronous video message for the qual questions – selfie-style, directly from their phones.

The automatic sentiment analysis showed that 47 percent of all statements were positive, 23 percent negative, and 30 percent neutral.

overall consumer sentiment to recycling shoes

Unlike the quant questions – which are self-reported answers – this sentiment analysis pulls from what respondents said in their video responses.

The automatic theme explorer and Word Cloud gave me an idea of some of the most mentioned topics.

themes in consumer insights for recycling shoes

At times, I also use the Theme Builder and my knowledge of the subject to build and group themes for topics that I consider related.

recycling shoes word cloud consumer study

The analysis

Next, I read through the transcripts of the responses. This is an easy way to read some more in-depth, skim ahead when applicable, and go back to previous answers in seconds.

Examples of what people said include:

“I would be interested in recycling my shoes because I think if they’re not damaged, and they can be reused by somebody else, then why not? So I believe that companies that recycle shoes, I would buy from them,” said  Angilee, 29, of Kingsville.

“I’ve never thought about it. I don’t have a problem with it. I have recycled many things. If it could help with the things not getting thrown into the garbage,” said Linda, 62, of Appleton.

“I think everyone should recycle their shoes. Why not?” said Brittany, 33, of Leland.

“In this time, we need to help our planet; we need to help our environment. We need to help our people and our society. So I will be inspired to buy from a store that recycles shoes,” said Altagracia, 36, of New York.

“How do I feel about recycling my shoes? I usually sell my shoes or give them away. I haven’t thought about recycling them or know where or how to do so. If I don’t sell them, then I donate them to Goodwill for the most part. But I’d be willing to look into recycling them if there’s a good cause it goes to,” said Taybor, 30, Pompano Beach.

Where to next?

Consumers in our study were overwhelmingly in support of recycling shoes. But many also hadn’t heard about the concept of recycling shoes. That could make for a helpful follow-up study: How has consumer knowledge around the recycling of shoes changed?

Read next: How you can use video surveys for your next project!


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