South London charity Re:Sole’s new permanent space in Brixton Village is set to open next month, following last year’s successful donation drive with fellow Brixton-based organisation Compliments of the House.
Diana Nabagereka, general manager of Brixton Village, said: “The support and work that Re:Sole founder Moosa Nsubuga and his team offer to people in need is so vital and timely when so many families, young people and the homeless are struggling at this present time.
“We feel proud to welcome Re:sole as a permanent resident to the marketplace.”
Re:Sole provides refreshed trainers for homeless people at risk. Moosa Nsubuga is a firm believer in the power of community and is aware that fresh footwear goes a long way not only to help prevent disease but also to provide dignity.
The shoes Re:Sole gives out can open up opportunities to individuals living on the streets – one example is a woman who needed black shoes to be able to do an interview.
“It’s incredible to see the self-esteem that a pair of new sneakers can bring to a person,” says Moosa. “Some homeless people we have met are barefoot because they have had their shoes stolen at night while they sleep.”
On moving into Brixton Village Moosa says: “For Re:Sole to finally have a place to call home is something I could not have imagined just over a year ago when we started this journey.
“There is no better place for Re:Sole to have its first home having spent the last 15 years in Brixton.
“Having a base will allow Re:Sole to scale up and to have a greater impact supporting the homeless and unaccompanied minors across the country.
“We can’t wait to build relationships in the village with our neighbours, creating more awareness around the work we do and demonstrate why it’s important to support community led organisations.”
As well as the important benefits it brings to the community, Re:Sole works towards sustainability goals by encouraging upcycling. Fast fashion’s problem extends to footwear. The US Department of the Interior estimates that roughly 300 million pairs of shoes end up in landfill each year.
Both new and used shoes can be donated, as Re:Sole partners with a dry cleaning service which cleans donated trainers and makes sure the donations are great quality.
The charity has received shoes from many different brands, including Gucci, Adidas and Nike.
Moosa is a self-confessed trainer obsessive, who began his charitable work by giving away some of his own extensive collection.
Despite humble beginnings, the charity has grown massively. It is now working not only across London but also in Manchester and Birmingham, partnering with local councils and youth centres.
During the lockdown period Re:Sole didn’t take a break, but distributed 1,300 trainers to those in crucial need.