Around 350,000,000 sets of shoes are disposed of in India. The soles of these shoes are in good condition and could be re-utilized. The founders of GreenSole were inspired by this information and thought of their business idea. "We take the great quality soles from disposed of shoes and renovate them to eco-accommodating, manageable, and biodegradable footwear. Shoe soles are reused, uppers are changed over to pockets, insoles to uppers, and old Shoelaces are washed, hand weaved, and used as uppers for slippers," states founder Ramesh Dhami.
The expense of changing over-disposed off footwear into a wearable pair of shoes costs around $2.69, which incorporates assortment costs, cleaning, cutting, and conveyance.
Greensole is trying to expand its product line and has recently started to produce new products like refurbished bags from the discarded shoes.
This development in shoe waste management has decreased waste; it has likewise produced business and has expanded the way of life for helpless youngsters. Also, it has created skill centers for women, which have helped them to earn a living.
Nihal Alias Ashish Shet Narvenkar
Goa Institute of Management
The process of refurbishing at GreenSole involves a collection of old shoes at their manufacturing facility in Navi Mumbai, where the team deep cleans, washes, and disassembles the soles from the uppers. Subsequently, the uppers are converted into pouches, and the shoe soles are retained. The insoles are turned into uppers, and the shoelaces are used for packing. The soles are cut according to the required sizes, and then they are used to make the base of the slippers. The new slipper’s straps are made using the uppers. The laces are then used to pack the manufactured footwear for donation. The old shoelaces are also washed, woven by hand, and used as uppers for slippers. The shoes that still have usable life left to them are sent to athletes at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in exchange for their old shoes.
In the cover image, we can see the footwear that the company has refurbished from the discarded shoes, shown to us by Ms Ashiquee Jain (CSR- Sales and Marketing, GreenSole). In the Story Image the group is seen understanding the innovation and the new line of products that they will be introducing soon.
“Once, I bought an expensive pair of imported running shoes with my savings from my small income. But it got torn in four months. I tried to refurbish the top part of the shoe with my old Adidas T-shirt, but it did not last long. I then converted it into a chappal by retaining the soles. That is when I realized that old shoes can be refurbished into a new pair of sandals or chappals,” says Ramesh Dhami.
The founders, Shriyans Bhandari and Ramesh Dhami were sprinters who spent a great deal of footwear every year during their training. They would use three to four sets of training shoes each year. Shoes were costly, and they did not last. The soles were in acceptable condition, yet the sides tore in few months. They needed to check whether these flawless great nature of sports shoe soles could be utilized once again. They believed that they would reuse the shoes and make footwear for individual use. With this idea, they thought of a plan to change them into stylish shoes. They established an eco-accommodating venture that reuses shoe soles and fittingly named it GreenSole.
Improved hygiene for under-privileged people- There are about 19.8 million underprivileged children in India, and they lack basic standards of living. When these children walk barefoot, they become prone to many diseases, as one of the significant reasons for contracting diseases is poor hygiene conditions. To improve these conditions, GreenSole has donated 332,000 shoes to underprivileged kids.
Empowering women- GreenSole has set up skill centers in collaboration with Tata Steel and Lion’s Club Noamundi. Underprivileged women are trained and skilled at these centers. These women are also employed to re-purpose this discarded footwear.
Environmental Impact- GreenSole receives around 1,000 to 1,200 pairs of old footwear from different parts of the country every month. By upcycling the old non-biodegradable shoes into new footwear, the start-up is estimated to have saved the environment from 45000 pounds of CO2 emissions by preventing the old shoes from going to landfill or being recycled through other processes that produce carbon emission of up to 30 pounds per pair of shoes. With this effort, GreenSole has managed to save 16,60,000 (LBS) CO2 emissions.
GreenSole had collected revenue worth 40 million last year.
It has partnered with 17 corporates like Adidas to recycle/refurbish their footwear.
It has set up 2 factories in Mumbai with the total production of 20,000 footwear per month and also it has started exporting to companies like USA, Mauritius, etc.
So far, they have collaborated with 50 corporates. Their current corporate partners include Adidas, Metro India, Skechers, ONGC, Anuh Pharma Ltd. JLL, Just Dial, India Bulls, Goqii, L&T, Canon, Crocs, Rolls-Royce, Axis Bank, DBS Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., and Tata Group. These companies sponsor the refurbishment of discarded shoes to comfortable footwear.
GreenSole has significantly reduced wastage that was created by all the footwear discarded. Around 350,000,000 pairs of shoes are discarded every year in India.
Normally, it takes 65 different parts to make a pair of shoes, and 30 lbs of carbon emissions and GreenSole is creating a great impact by significantly reducing the requirements of these resources. Overall, it has saved 1,660,000 carbon emissions by this technique.
GreenSole is a self-sustaining organization that has provided around 332,000 footwear. It has set up a skill center in which more than 100 women will gain relevant skills, and it plans to open 30 more centers. It uses each part of shoes, and in the process of refurbishment and management, it provides a large number of employment opportunities to people and creates a social impact.
Mr. Ramesh Dhami, Director and Co-founder
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Mumbai, Maharashtra, IN
Business Website: https://www.greensole.com/
Year Founded: 2015
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
GreenSole sells and donates refurbished footwear from old discarded shoes. These shoes are either donated to underprivileged children or sold. They have also started a skill center for underprivileged people where they train, skill, and hire.