Are you discarding your old shoes? Ever wondered where do they end up? Wouldn’t it be great if instead of landing in a landfill, your old shoes could bring a smile to a needy child’s face? So, now instead of throwing them away, donate your old shoes to Greensole. It’s a social venture which refurbishes old, discarded shoes, and provides them to children in need. They even sell upcycled shoes on their website, since they want the venture to be self-sustainable. And all this is done while being environment-friendly and with zero carbon footprint. Scroll down to know more about this shoe brand from Mumbai.
Idea Behind Greensole
Greensole is the brain-child of Shriyans Bhandari and Ramesh Dhami, who started this social venture in December 2013. It’s a Mumbai-based company that refurbishes old shoes into comfortable, brand new footwear for needy children. We spoke to Shriyans Bhandari, one of the co-founders who explained the concept and said,
“Greensole is an upcycling company that makes old shoes into slippers which are further donated or are sold. Being an athlete, we used to throw away old shoes that were not good for running. So we thought why not refurbish them for the needy people”.
How Does It Work?
The shoes are collected from individuals and schools. Once the shoes reach the GreenSole’s manufacturing unit in Mumbai, the team washes them to separate the soles and uppers. The soles are cut into different sizes while the upper part is used to make slipper straps and laces. The refurbished footwear are kept raw and trendy at the same time that includes sliders, slippers and sports shoes.
“We try to keep the shoes raw after they are refurbished, but we also try to keep them stylish so that people get attracted and buy them rather than buying new pairs. I think people are getting more motivated, especially the younger generation towards social and environmental driven companies”, Shriyans Bhandari added.
350 Million Shoes Are Discarded Every Year
Greensole is also an eco-friendly enterprise and upcycles the old shoes with zero carbon footprint. Bhandari added, “Greensole also does recycling of footwear brands and are into sustainable footwear where people can buy and contribute to the environment”.
Worldwide every year, more than 35 million pairs of shoes are being discarded. At the same time, as per the recent report by WHO, 1.5 billion people are infected by diseases that could be prevented by wearing proper footwear. In such a scenario, Greensole is aiming at providing footwear for 10,00,000 people in need by 2020.
Upon the expansion of the business, he said, “We are looking forward in the US and Europe markets for the retails. In India, we plan to expand the CSR in terms of donating more pairs and opening skills centres where women can be trained and get employment. We have one such skill centre in Jharkhand with Tata Steel”.
You can also be a part of such a fantastic noble cause by donating your old pair of shoes. Or you can even purchase a new one that’s trendy yet environment-friendly!
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/greensole)