What do we do with our unused footwear apart from throwing them on useless people? Discarding them to scrap which keep polluting the earth for a long time till they get disintegrated or fill your wardrobes with shoes as Priyanka Chopra did. Apparently some 300 million pairs are thrown away each year, out of the 20 billion shoes produced. So where exactly are they going? In the last two decades or so, our world has been introduced to a new epidemic, which is the wastage of shoes. But there is this company which makes a great use of the discarded footwear! GreenSole, a company founded by professional athletes Shriyans Bhandari and Ramesh Dhamihave found out an efficient solution to this issue.
Realizing the hazard after discarding around 3 pairs of shoes every year, they started GreenSole. They refurbish old shoes into comfortable and new footwear for hundreds of children who walk to school.Initially, they wanted to refurbish their old shoes for personal use. However, it soon turned to a social business venture. They decided to help underprivileged children who cannot afford shoes.GreenSole has a manufacturing unit in Navi Mumbai. Their team washes and disassembles the old shoes. They separate the soles and uppers.GreenSole looks for villages which need help the most. They conduct surveys and find out how many shoes are needed and what size.
Started in 2013, the core team has 10 members. At present, GreenSole has 17 corporate partners supporting it. They conduct collection drives in their offices and pay GreenSole to refurbish the shoes. These shoes are then donated in villages. That is not all, they also conduct collection drives across the country on their own. They reached out to many schools and colleges for that sake and even installed drop boxes in public places like parks.