In December 2004, Wayne Elsey watched with millions around the world the news following the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Hundreds of thousands of lives were wiped out, and millions of more people had everything they owned washed away. Watching news footage of a single shoe washing ashore, Wayne was haunted. At the time, he was leading an international shoe manufacturing company. That natural catastrophe was the beginning of a massive change in his life, and it lead to a new business model.
Wayne ended his career in the shoe industry and founded Soles4Souls, which is a social enterprise still in operation today providing shoes to millions in poverty and also helping micro-entrepreneurs.
After leaving Soles4Souls, and with another team of motivated visionaries for a better world, he created what became the Funds2Orgs Group, the leading shoe drive fundraising social enterprises in North America. Being forever restless and curious, he ultimately realized that groups and people in the U.S. who need funds and those who had suffered natural disasters or lived in poverty required more than shoes. They needed hope. With his team of dreamers who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, they created another social enterprise, Head2Toe Recycling.
Head2Toe Recycling was founded to disrupt the recycling industry and use the knowledge, expertise, and network that was developed by Wayne’s team during the 2010s. The Head2Toe Recycling social enterprise is asking everyone, from retailers, corporations and individuals to Rethink Recycling, get beyond the bins, close the loop and allow others to reuse the clothing, shoes, related accessories and cell phones no longer needed or wanted.