“How can we use first-generation Fossil activity trackers for the greater good?” It was this simple question that inspired our partnership with RecycleHealth, a nonprofit organization that collects wearable devices and donates them to underserved populations to encourage healthy living.
“For so many people [purchasing an activity tracker] is a cost issue,” says Dr. Lisa Gualtieri, RecycleHealth founder and assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. “But others wouldn’t even think to buy one to increase their health and fitness.”
Since the organization’s launch more than two years ago, it has provided around 2,500 activity trackers to students, seniors and low-income households. Among those donations: 550 first generation Fossil Q activity trackers.
“We initially reached out to RecycleHealth because we were entering this area of wearable tech, an area that’s always changing, and we started to think about how we could repurpose our product with purpose,” notes Whitney Josey, director of Fossil Group’s supply chain sustainability team. “We wanted to talk to folks who were doing innovative social impact work and understand how we could help each other. When Jessica Herring from the Fossil Retail Operations Team reached out to us about an opportunity to make a positive impact with some first generation Fossil Q activity trackers, the idea of repurposing with purpose turned into a reality.” Fossil Group’s partnership with RecycleHealth supports our focus on sustainability, or what we call Make Time For Good—and is part of our ongoing commitments to reducing waste and strengthening communities.
So far, Fossil has donated more than $100,000 worth of wearable tech via RecycleHealth to numerous community partners, such as ChildObesity180 at Tufts University and CO-OP. CO-OP provides services to developmentally disabled adults. ChildObesity180 provided the donated devices to support their walk/run club programming at 54 Boston public schools, 16 charter schools, and ten community programs such as the Roxbury YMCA, with over 7,600 students participating this school year. One of the major benefits of working with Fossil Group, Gualtieri says, has been the ability to provide people with brand-new, unopened devices that can hold a charge, as well as the option for customizing their tracker with the bands. “It’s all about behavior change,” she says.
“In all of the research that we do, we find that having a visible reminder on your wrist of your commitment to increasing your fitness is so helpful.”