Greensole that re-purposes discarded footwear visits Coimbatore

Cut, cleaned and delivered Greensole reuses discarded footwear

Cut, cleaned and delivered Greensole reuses discarded footwear   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement


Ashiquee Jain of Greensole shares the story of the company

Greensole was born in 2015. And so far it has managed to provide footwear to three lakh children. “Ten lakhs is our target in 2020,” said Ashiquee Jain who was in Coimbatore to share the story of the company. The founders, Shriyans Bhandari and Ramesh Dhami, are runners who used up a lot of footwear each year during their training. The two trained with the same coach and that is how they met. They decided to find ways to reuse and recycle the tonnes of discarded footwear and distribute them to underprivileged children. And so Greensole came about, an initiative that they hope will help bridge the social, economic and the environmental gap in the country. This is the first time Greensole has come to Tamil Nadu.

WHO reports say that walking barefoot can lead to infection and diseases picked up from contaminated soil. These can easily be prevented by wearing footwear. It is no secret that hundreds of children walk miles to reach their schools, especially in remote rural areas. The Greensole team visits these far-flung places, co-ordinates with gram panchayats and local schools and other institutions and creates a data base of the number of children who need to be shod.

Side by side, Greensole organises collection drives in urban areas, works with corporates to include this initiative into their CSR and ties up with schools to donate their throw-away shoes. The discards are taken to the warehouse in Mumbai where they are cleaned, cut and upcycled into sturdy footwear.

Step up
  • Coimbatoreans who want to donate their footwear may drop them off at That’s Y Food and On The Go up to January 14.
  • Ladies’ heeled footwear and those of children below six years will not be accepted as they cannot be refurbished.
  • The shoes can also be directly sent to Greensole, C/O Ram Fashion Exports, A 460, TTC Industrial Area, MIDC Mahape, Navi Mumbai 400701.
  • To support the organisation, one can sponsor recycled footwear for the children at ₹199/pair at

“We have a centre in Jharkhand sponsored by ONGC that trains and employs women to re-purpose these discarded footwear,” says Ashiquee, adding that acquiring this skill set has empowered them. Just like Ashiquee did, team members of Greensole travel around spreading the good word and urging people to pitch in so that the organisation can realise its dream of ensuring that no one is barefoot by 2023! While big companies have teamed up to fund their initiatives, individuals can make a huge difference too. “It costs just ₹199 to turn that discarded footwear into a wearable pair for a barefoot kid somewhere. This includes collection costs, cleaning, cutting and re-cycling right up to its delivery to the child,” Ashiquee explains. Greensole also has its retail division where eco-friendly, sustainable and completely biodegradable footwear is up for grabs priced upwards of ₹699.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:56:06 AM |

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