South Londoner Moosa Nsubuga wanted to give back to the community after being raised in a culture of helping out.
When he converted to Islam, his faith gave him a strong personal connection to charity and helping the less fortunate.
Moosa decided to start a small side project with his mates, giving away high-quality trainers to at-risk teenagers and the homeless.
After the horror of the Grenfell fire in 2017, they gave away extra donations to those who had lost everything.
But in the years of his philanthropy, Moosa noticed that the quality of donations – particularly clothes – were not up to scratch.
Feeling ’embarrassed’ to hand over tattered items, Moosa decided to change the nature of his offerings.
So he launched Resole, an initiative that hands out fresh trainers to the homeless and disadvantaged youths at risk of gang violence and drug abuse.
He and his team aren’t just giving away old creps either, they’ve been offering designer brands such as Gucci and top quality Adidas and Nike ones, too.
Having prioritised keeping his trainers looking box-fresh, Moosa noticed he had a lot of barely worn shoes.
He realised that others would be in the same boat and asked them to donate theirs.
On average, Resole gets around 150 to 200 pairs in a good month from donations but it can also be less or more if there’s a massive one-off donation.
‘Faith was a strong personal reason for wanting to give back but also being able to get others involved from the culture that raised me,’ Moosa tells Metro.co.uk.
‘I did at the beginning also collect clothing and shoes but after the Grenfell tower fire, we gave all our stock sneakers and clothing to that community.
‘While doing so I realised it was harder to quality check clothing and felt embarrassed giving some clothing away due to the bad state they came in.
‘As for the sneakers, it was much easier to check for quality and actually distribute to people so I decided to concentrate on footwear.’
What started as a side project to help his local community in South London every two weeks quickly became a much larger operation.
Now Resole does two to three drop-offs a week, distributing around 170 pairs of shoes with a value of around £14,450 a month.
‘It gives you great joy to see the self-esteem that a pair of new sneakers can bring to a person,’ says Moosa.
‘Some homeless people we have met are barefoot because they have had their shoes stolen at night while they sleep.
‘One guy was without shoes for two weeks and just had flipflops and it was at the end of the drop when we found him outside a Sainsbury’s in Islington.
‘We gave him a pair of Nike Air VaporMax valued at £185. He couldn’t believe we were just giving it out for free and was so grateful.’
Moosa hopes to take the initiative around the country.
‘The plan is to do it full-time,’ he continues. ‘We are a small team and we’d like to have access to our own space storage and office.
‘We are planning a UK tour in 2020 from Portsmouth all the way up to Liverpool on a five-city tour collecting and distributing sneakers.
‘Thanks to the sneakerhead community we have wide support across the country.’
Resole has a drop-off point at Copit UK and Vamp LND, a sneaker shop in Brixton with a cleaning service where people can go to drop off donations at the bin located in the store.
Shoes that need cleaning are washed before they’re collected for distribution.
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