ASGA’s recycling initiative receives government grant

We are proud to announce the ASGA Save Our Soles Recycling Initiative has received an Australian Government grant through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund (NPSIF) – bringing the sporting goods industry one step closer to a sustainable future.

The grant follows a successful pilot program launch in Victoria in 2019 which saw us collect over 100,000 pairs of shoes for recycling.

The industry has come together and shown its commitment to building a long-term sustainable footwear recycling solution that will benefit our planet and the community.

ASGA would like to thank our members and program partners who have shown their support and helped ASGA create a truly circular footwear recycling platform.

The full media release around the grant can be found here.

ASGA would also like to welcome Tara Ballard, who joins ASGA to manage marketing and communications. Tara’s role is to promote the ASGA SOS Recycling Initiative, working closely with brands to create greater consumer awareness around the program and achieve ambitious recycling targets.

We look forward to sharing more about the ASGA SOS Recycling Initiative in the coming months as we launch the national program.

For any questions about the program, please feel free to reach out to Tara Ballard directly at

ASGA launches Member Advisory Committees

ASGA is committed to supporting its members to help shape industry policies and issues. To bring this to life, ASGA has launched a number of new Member Advisory Committees.

These include:

The Member Advisory Committees will consist of specialist representatives from ASGA and subject matter experts to: 

  • ​Provide a forum to exchange industry best practice 
  • Help develop ASGA policy positions and support advocacy 
  • Provide support for legal and regulatory compliance 
  • Identify issues affecting members and formulate industry responses 

If you would like to play a role in shaping industry policies, please contact

Impact of COVID-19 on sport and physical activity participation

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a deterrent for participation in organised sport, according to new findings from Sport Australia’s AusPlay and Community Perceptions Monitor surveys.

However, the pandemic has driven up rates of participation in socially-distanced sports and recreational activities, which appears to be driven by women.

The report shows that while the pandemic had resulted in a dip in participation for some sports, there had been a rise in others.

For example, an estimated 253,000 more Australian adults participated in golf in 2020 compared with 2019, while 185,000 more participants played tennis.

However, restrictions on junior sport had resulted in the percentage of children who played organised sport outside of school at least once a week dropping from 55 in 2019 to 43 per cent in 2020.

Read the full report here

How the sporting goods industry can use research to shift and adapt to Australia’s changing landscape

For the past 18 years, research agency 10 THOUSAND FEET has worked with the biggest sporting goods brands in Australia, delivering strategic research and advice that transforms the way brands engage with their audiences. For the past decade, 10 THOUSAND FEET has been ASGA’S preferred research partner.

10 THOUSAND FEET has shared four key research themes relevant to today’s climate that will be available in their consumer research for the sporting goods industry in 2021.

Brand Gravity –DTC has increased its share of sales by 12% since 2017. The continued rise of DTC, combined with stock issues and record retail sales, means consumers have been rapidly exposed to a wider array of brands. The role of brand gravity has never been more important. Securing a profitable and loyal customer base and being ahead of the market calls for strategy and multi-brand tracking of awareness, preference, usage, brand positioning etc.

Sustainability – 65% of Australians will travel up to 10KM to recycle their sports shoes. See how leading brands rank on perceptions of environmental sustainability and understand the sustainability messages that appeal the most.

Online shopping – COVID has seen an explosion in online shopping and the sporting goods market is no different, with online sales growing 17% in 2020. See how brands are trending on key sales channels and whether they are underperforming or outperforming the market in online sales. Importantly the research shows how to overcome barriers that consumers face in choosing one online retailer over another.

New season styles – With stock challenges globally, getting a read on consumer sentiment on new season styles is of great importance in facilitating more targeted buying decisions.

Category subscriptions are available for: Performance Footwear; Lifestyle Footwear; Performance Apparel; Lifestyle Apparel; Sporting Brands Retail; Outdoor Footwear

For more information contact the team at 10 THOUSAND FEET at

Tackling footwear waste from sneakers to football boots

11 August, 2021

The ASGA Save Our Soles initiative – a program that recovers and recycles tired, unwanted sports shoes – has received an Australian Government grant through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund (NPSIF), bringing the sporting goods industry one step closer to a sustainable future.

The grant will help grow the industry-funded take-back program, which was prompted by a successful launch in 2019 as a pilot program in Victoria. The initiative has already led to the collection of over 100,000 pairs of shoes for recycling – highlighting the need for a national program.

ASGA has collaborated with major sporting goods brands and renowned retailers which include Nike, adidas, Asics, Converse, Super Retail Group, Globe, JD Sports, New Balance, SportsPower, Frankie4, Brand Collective, Mizuno and Accent Group, to close the loop in the Australian footwear product life cycle chain.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the new schemes are a slam dunk for the Government, which will invest an additional $4 million in product stewardship funding.

“We think that our product stewardship programs are really ace, and that is why we have now funded 19 projects to the tune of $14.6 million and established the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence,” Minister Ley said.

“This additional funding means we can create greater capacity in the recycling sector and with that, we will see more brands taking greater responsibility for reducing the environmental impacts of their products.”[1]

ASGA’s President, Andrew Reed, said “this is a landmark day for the Australian Sporting Goods Industry and its stakeholders, as we are now collectively able to accelerate investment towards a more environmentally sustainable future, a critical area of ASGA’s strategic focus.

The investment made by the Federal Government’s grant is a great step forward that will enable significant growth in ASGA’s Save Our Soles footwear recycling program. This will have members in a stronger position nationally to achieve their sustainability objectives, while importantly meeting Australian consumer demands, by providing an easily accessible solution to recycling their pre loved sports shoes.”

ASGA Executive Director, Shaun Bajada, is thrilled to see the sporting goods and active lifestyle industry work together to tackle this immediate waste problem.

“Our industry is committed to building a long-term sustainable footwear recycling solution that will benefit our planet and the community. I am incredibly proud of our members who have helped ASGA create a truly circular footwear recycling platform,” said Bajada.  

The program aims to reduce the volume of footwear sent to landfill each year by developing a scalable model for sports shoe recycling Australia-wide. This model involves repurposing pre-loved sports shoes and transforming them into gym mats, retail flooring, playground, and sporting exteriors.

Consumers can conveniently drop off preloved shoes such as athletic lifestyle shoes, sneakers, football boots, hiking boots, golf shoes, thongs, and slides to ASGA retail partners. For more information on the program and to find your nearest collection site visit

– Ends –

For any images, further information or to set up interviews with a brand representative, please contact Tara Ballard (contact details: 0436 330 267

About ASGA

The Australian Sporting Goods Association was formed in 1981 to act as the “peak body” representing a broad spectrum of sporting and active lifestyle goods industry participants, including brands, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

ASGA is a leading industry voice on issues impacting the health, trade, taxation, regulation, market research, environmental and sustainability areas of the sporting and active lifestyle industries. It aims to foster the market growth, provide services, and advocate for increased participation in sport and physical activity. ASGA is a leading advocate in the industry and is at the forefront of debate and leads industry opinion.

About Save Our Soles

As Recycling Process Lead, Save Our Soles (SOS) manage all resource reclamation activities, from extraction to end product development. Save Our Soles is committed to ensuring that all Shoes that are imported into Australia and New Zealand are recycled and used in this market. Australia imports approximately 100 million pairs into Australia and New Zealand every year and we have to start reusing this valuable product rather than throwing them into landfill.



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