Events with thousands of runners can use a lot of cups. That’s why all of our events are cup-less! Photo: Votography Images

Sustainability at the Runner’s Edge

At the Runner’s Edge, we care about the planet. Like you, we love playing outside and enjoying the incredible outdoor opportunities in Missoula. We take pride in our commitment to environmental initiatives in store, at events, and with the brands that we carry. We are continually striving to reduce waste in store and support brands that treat the world how we want it to be treated.

Supporting Brands that Care

Ashley sporting our new RE-branded t-shirts from Saucony. Made from 70% recycled polyester!

The apparel industry is one of the biggest global contributors to climate change. But, as consumers you can make choices that reduce the impact of the apparel you purchase. As a store, the Runner’s Edge tries to make these choices as easy possible. Apparel buyer Vicky Mix says she “has focused on purchasing sustainable products” in recent years. What does this mean? “I check the company’s mission, what efforts are they doing, and if it fits for us, that’s where we’re gonna go!”. The result is that most of the apparel in our store is made from recycled polyester!

Did you know?
The Runner’s Edge carries Perspective Fitwear. This lady’s clothing company uses Good Human Tech™ fabric that incorporates an innovative landfill-degradable technology that enables pieces to fully decompose in 3 years. Don’t worry- this doesn’t impact the quality or durability of pieces while they’re worn! Drop by the store to check them out!

Shoes and the Fit Process

Have you ever noticed what we do with the cardboard inserts that come out of your shoes when helping you find the perfect pair of sneakers? We place all box/shoe stuffings and papers in a bin to be sorted into recyclables and non-recyclables. By doing this, we can drastically reduce the amount of waste we throw in our dumpster each day. And the shoes we have? The Runner’s Edge makes it clear to brands that we want to carry shoes with recycled content made in a way that limits their impact on the environment. The Saucony Endorphin Speed will soon sport 100% recycled polyester in the entire upper material, and recycled content in almost every other part of the shoe. In 2019, the use of recycled polyester in Hoka ONE ONE shoes diverted approximately 14,900,000 bottles from landfills, saving 19.1 million MegaJoules (MJs) of energy, 220.2 million gallons of water, and over 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide (source). We are excited to continue supporting brands that strive to reduce their environmental impact. 

Upcycled, reusable bags made from extra event t-shirts. Heck yeah!

No More Plastic Bags!

A few months ago, we ran out of plastic bags at the store. We knew our customers would occasionally need a way to carry a collection of running goodies. We got creative and decided to upcycle year’s of extra race t-shirts into reusable bags! Lisa Walser hand makes every bag. Read more here. Please leave these bags for customers who are in a pinch and forgot a bag. The best thing you can do to help us (and the planet!) is to bring your own bag or opt out of a bag. If you do take one of our reusable bags, please reuse it as much as possible. You can even bring it back so we can offer it to another customer!


Shoe Donations

Shoe donation box alongside the bin we use to collect recyclable shoe inserts

Every few weeks, we pack up a big box of many dozens of used shoes to send off to the MORE Foundation Group. What happens to those shoes? According to the MORE Foundation Group, “proceeds regenerate forests and jump start small farming co-ops in needy regions.” They utilize a “value added, multi-faceted approach to shoe recycling. Instead of 100 years decomposing in landfills, the donated shoes are sold to participating vendors in developing countries. This creates retail jobs while stimulating free enterprise. MORE provides basic supplies, tools, seeds, and agroforestry training to poor farming families and rural villages” (source). If you have old shoes that still have some life in them, bring them by the store to donate!

Waste-less Events

Post-race food is awesome. Tastes even better when paired with compostable flatware!

In 2018, we gave out over 20,000 cups to participants of our races. That’s a LOT of cups. We decided it was too many, and in 2019 transitioned our races to be cupless. In addition, every piece of cutlery, plate, or bowl we give you for your post-race meal is 100% compostable! At every race we have recycling bins and compost bins so that you can dispose of your waste properly and reduce the load that heads to the landfill. Check out our cup-less policy here!

Did you know?
In 2020 the Runner’s Edge started Running Up for Air Mt. Sentinel. A part of the Up for Air Series, this event challenges participants to climb Mt. Sentinel as many times as possible in 3, 6, or 12 hours in the dead of winter. All proceeds of this event support Climate Smart Missoula and their initiatives to reduce air pollution and improve climate resiliency in Missoula

Our staff

A happy RE staff out enjoying the trails

We work hard as a staff to individually and collectively reduce our footprints. It’s not uncommon to have three or more bikes parked downstairs in the basement from morning commutes. To reduce the amount of trash we produce, we have a compost bin on-site for employees. That means all those Five on Black bowls (they’re compostable!), apple cores, and coffee grounds turn into soil instead of ending up in a landfill. In addition, the Runner’s Edge offers its employees free glass recycling.

Questions or Comments?

We’d love to hear from you! If you have ideas for how we can further improve our sustainability efforts, let us know! If you want to know how to get involved, please reach out. Send Jeff an email at with any questions, comments, or concerns! Thanks for shopping local 🙂