Statistics state that roughly 35 crore pair of shoes are discarded every year worldwide. On the other hand, there are 1.5 billion people in this world who cannot afford footwear. Social venture Greensole gives you an opportunity to connect these dots in a simple but inspiring way.
Founded by Shriyansh Bhandari and Ramesh Dhami, Greensole recycles old and used shoes and donates it to the underprivileged.
The founders, being athletes themselves, would quickly wear out their expensive sports shoes and be forced to discard them. That was when the idea of refurbishing old shoes and donating them to children and the needy cropped up.
They started to place shoe donation boxes in colleges and schools, and asked running groups for help. Monetary donations first from friends and family and then corporate partners helped them to set up a manufacturing unit for their recycled shoes. Indeed, the first pair of shoes the founders worked on was one of their own, turning an old pair of footwear into comfortable, new slippers for everyday use.
Ever since, the venture has come a long way; they have recycled and donated around 10,000 pairs of footwear.
In an interview with Kerosene Digital, Shriyansh Bhandari points out that while there have been challenges (mostly of a technical nature), there have been significant milestones as well. One particularly memorable moment for the team was when they received a letter from President Barack Obama himself, appreciating their cause and work.
So, how can you help? Donate a pair of shoes. Greensole has offices in Mumbai, so drop them off if you’re in the city, or if you’re not a Mumbaikar, simply courier your shoes to them. Are there any particulars? Nope. Greensole accepts any shoe size, although they do request that you avoid sending them footwear with heels. Alternatively, you can buy a pair of shoes online from Greensole.
Clichéd though it may sound, as Greensole proves, it simply takes the actions of one to help bring about a positive change for others. Shriyans says, “Observe. Think about simple things and how to solve. We all must go back to our personal problems, try to solve them and then scale it up, so that it is a solution for everyone.”
For more information on Greensole and how you can help, head on over to their website or follow them on Facebook.
Written by: Shreya Shashank
Featured image source: Greensole