Have you ever come across a pair of sneakers you liked at the thrift store, but they were really worn? This has happened to me a few times, and I would end up not buying them. I found these Pumas at the Goodwill in Bowie for $11.99. They originally retailed for $110.00 and are currently on sale on puma.com for $76.99.

I’m a sneakerhead who loves multi-colored sneakers, I couldn’t leave these behind. I decided to do an experiment to see if I could restore them to look brand new. I watched hours of YouTube videos and went through a plethora of sneaker cleaner reviews trying to figure out which ones I should buy and if I could do this.

Ultimately I decided to support a local small business in the DMV area called Sole Wash. This company will revive and restore your sneakers for you; they even offer classes on sneaker restoration. Visit their website solewash.co, for more information on products for restoration, cleaning packages, and locations. This may be an option for you if you decide you don’t want to do the cleaning yourself.

I am super happy with the results and glad I didn’t leave these Pumas behind. Most often, we are too quick to throw a pair of sneakers away or pass on thrifting a pair because of something as simple as a stain. Living sustainably is all about reviving, repurposing, and restoring an item.

Consider how many items we could save from going to a landfill if we all decided to clean and repair our shoes instead of jumping to buy new ones. My purpose for thrifting goes beyond getting a good deal, I am truly on a journey of finding ways to live more sustainably. Anything you thrift can be repaired or upcycled. I hope this post encourages you to thrift a pair of sneakers and return them to their former glory. Purchases like these support Goodwill’s mission of giving back to the community and providing job training.

For more thrifting and sustainable tips, follow me on Instagram @iamksimone.

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