Talk about an offer footwear fanatics can’t refuse. As part of a drive to clean up local beaches, Uruguay shoemaker Mamut is allowing plastic bottles as a form of currency. The arrangement—alas!—is a temporary one. From now till Valentine’s Day, however, customers can use their empties to finance up to 40 percent of any shoe from Mamut’s “Native” summer collection. (Each bottle counts toward 100 Uruguayan pesos, or $4 in American dollars.) Collected bottles will be hauled away Cooperative Juan Charpa for recycling—perhaps even, if kismet would have it, into new shoes.
This isn’t the first time a brand has rewarded its customers for doing the right thing. Retailers like Eileen Fisher, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Patagonia, and The North Face have comprehensive take-back programs designed to “close the loop” on their products, no matter their condition. As an incentive, donors are offered discounts on subsequent purchases. That warm, fuzzy feeling is just gravy.