METRO Brands Pioneers Sustainable Practices in India with their Footwear Recycling Initiative

~ In association with ReCircle and other partners, METRO Brands focusses on the processing of old footwear in an eco-friendly manner through the ‘Old Discarded Footwear’ (ODF) initiative ~

MUMBAI, India, June 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Metro Brands Limited, one of India’s largest footwear retailers, has spearheaded a groundbreaking initiative to process old, discarded footwear (ODF) in an eco-friendly manner and tackle significant environmental challenges. Since 2021, in partnership with a couple of implementing partners, Metro Brands has advanced national and global climate action goals while setting a new industry standard.

This initiative addresses the pressing climate issues intensified by the rapid growth of the footwear industry. The industry’s growth has led to millions of shoes ending up in landfills each year. Metro Brands and ReCircle — a clean-tech resource recovery innovator (one of the major implementing partners) — counter this problem with a robust mechanism to process discarded footwear in an eco-friendly manner, aiming to reduce waste, lower emissions, promote a circular economy, and achieve self-sustainability through clear, quantifiable targets. In FY 2021–22, Metro Brands initiated a small pilot project and processed 5% ODF in an eco-friendly manner vis-à-vis the fresh pairs of footwear that they sold. In FY 2022–23, they increased the coverage to 25%. By FY 2023–24, the brand achieved a coverage of around 50%. Of this, ReCircle contributed by processing 1300 tons of ODF.

Aziz Fidai, Head CSR and Sustainability for Metro Brands Limited, stated, “At Metro Brands, sustainability has always been a priority. 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. By transforming waste into valuable resources, we aim to reduce our environmental footprint and inspire positive change within our community and beyond.”

Rahul Nainani, CEO and Co-Founder, ReCircle, said, “Our partnership with Metro Brand Limited shows us, once again, how we can rethink systems to drive change that is meaningful, and impact driven. At ReCircle, we strive towards creating a circular economy, by empowering brands to divert waste away from landfills and our oceans, back into the economy, to be recycled, reused or repurposed, all while aiding them in accomplishing their sustainability objectives. 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.”

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.

Last year, Metro Brands achieved a coverage of 50% on the eco-friendly processing of ODF, relative to the fresh footwear pairs sold, aiming for 75% coverage this year and comprehensive coverage by FY 25–26. This ambitious goal aligns with the urgency of climate action, striving for operational independence on a zero-cost basis and echoing the essence of global climate goals focused on self-sustainability. Looking ahead, Metro Brands envisions a future where the entire footwear industry adopts similar sustainable practices, significantly reducing its environmental footprint and contributing to a healthier planet.

About Metro Brands Limited (BSE: 543426) (NSE: METROBRAND)

www.metrobrands.com

Metro Brands is one of the largest Indian footwear specialty retailers and is amongst the aspirational Indian brands in the footwear category. The Company opened its first store under the Metro brand in Mumbai in 1955 and has since evolved into a one‐stop shop for all footwear needs, by retailing a wide range of branded products for the entire family, including men, women, unisex and kids, and for every occasion, including casual and formal events. In addition to men’s, women’s, and kids’ footwear, it also has a wide range of 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, which complement its in‐house brands. The Metro footwear range is specially curated based on the regional sensitivity to cater to the needs of different regions.

As of March 31, 2024, the Company operated 836 Stores across 193 cities spread across 31 states and union territories in India.

About ReCircle

Founded in 2016 by Rahul Nainani and Gurashish Singh Sahni, ReCircle is a resource recovery clean-tech innovator working towards a circular future. ReCircle empowers consumers and brands to divert waste away from landfills and oceans and back into the economy, to be recycled, reused or repurposed. ReCircle has diverted over 169,000 MT (equivalent to the weight of 28,166 elephants) of waste from landfills and our oceans, across 270 cities and towns in India, with the help of 45+ processing partners who have a pan-India network of 400 collection partners, all while impacting the lives of over 3100 informal waste workers or Safai Saathis.

As a technology-enabled enterprise, ReCircle enables transparency, traceability and accountability in the resource value chain to promote sustainable production and consumption of resources. To achieve its mission, ReCircle has instituted flagship initiatives, such as ClimaOne(a revolutionary tech-enabled platform designed to transform the informal waste supply chain), Plastic EPR Service, Plastic-Neutral programs and ground-level community collection drives. In 2023, ReCircle closed its pre-series A fundraise led by Flipkart Ventures, 3i Partners, Acumen Fund Inc and a pool of HNI investors. For more information, visit https://recircle.in/

(Disclaimer: The above press release comes to you under an arrangement with PRNewswire and PTI takes no editorial responsibility for the same.). PTI PWR

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