Rebel's in-store shoe recycling program has recycled 37,158 pairs of shoes, parent company Super Retail Group has revealed in its 2021 Sustainability Report.
This is a 54.8% increase year-on-year for the retailer, which recycled 24,000 pairs in FY20 (from November 2019 to May 2020).
The program, which was launched as part of the Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA) Save Our Soles initiative, allowed customers to drop off their old sneakers for recycling.
The old sneakers are then turned into gym mats, retail flooring and anti-fatigue mats.
According to ASGA, the program aims to reduce the waste created from the 25 million pairs of sports shoes imported to Australia each year.
So far, Save Our Soles program has collected 100,000 pairs (32 tonnes) of shoes from participating retailers.
Other key sustainability highlights for Rebel during the year include the introduction of a new display box for surf/sea products.
In partnership with its trade partner, Rebel redesigned the traditional plywood display rack to be instead made from recyclable cardboard.
The packaging resulted in a 64% cost reduction, a 35% display area reduction and created less waste, with the rack able to be recycled at the end of its use.
Additionally, Rebel will be the first of the Super Retail Group (SRG) brands to offer customers a new degradable gift card.
Rebel will receive the new cards in September 2021, with the other brands set to receive their stock by December 2021.
"Our aim is to move all gift card stock to a more environmentally friendly option over the next 12 to 18 months," SRG said in its report.
Rebel also increased its support of women in sport in FY21, deepening its relationship with women's sporting codes throughout the year.
"We deepened out relationship with Football Australia and the national women's team, the Matildas," Rebel said in a statement.
"We also extended support of female professional sporting leagues and young elite athletes, presenting the following awards:
- NRL Women's: Rebel Rookie of the Year
- Suncorp Super Netball: Rebel Rising Star
- WBBL (Cricket): Rebel Young Gun
- AFLW: Rebel Young Leader."
The awards included a cash prize and access to the Rebel Women's Mentoring Program - an online leadership and education program.