Once Loved Shoes

120. Honor Evans (London)

A 15 year old entrepreneur turned a passion for shoes into a thriving social enterprise.

Honor Evans from Willesden Green, who is in year 10, runs a successful social enterprise up-cycling shoes and has inspired a hundred people to follow her example, running workshops on up-cycling and speaking publicly to promote social enterprises which give back to the community.

Since the tender age of four, Honor Evans has had a passion for shoes and would regularly ask her mum for her old shoes so she could customise them, creating brand new pairs. In December 2012, Honor came up with the idea for her social enterprise ‘Once Loved Shoes’ which encourages others to join in and turn their tattered boots, stilettos, pumps and sandals into something once again worthy of a place in their closets using recycled materials and broken jewellery. Honor runs a series of workshops to spread her creative flair to other young people. 100 have attended a workshop so far, picking up ideas and inspiration for up-cycling their shoes and even support to start their own initiatives to make a difference in their local community.

According to the not-for-profit recycling company WRAP, around 190,000 tonnes of footwear go to landfill every year. Honor’s creative ideas have saved 80 pairs from the skip. All profits from selling the shoes go in to buying materials and reinvesting back into the enterprise.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Honor has turned her passion into a fantastic initiative that, not only saves countless pairs of shoes from ending up in landfill, but also promotes the role social enterprises can play in communities. I am delighted to name Honor a Point of Light”

Honor said:

‘I am really excited about being awarded a Point of Light, I really love up-cycling and I’ve particularly enjoyed the session I ran teaching 40 people how to customise flip flops. My favourite shoe so far was made entirely of sweets like skittles, strawberry laces and jellies, which went on display at an exhibition in Covent Garden. I think my dream would be if Beyoncé could give me a pair of her heels to upcycle, that would be amazing!’

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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