Recycled show brand GreenSole sets up skill centres, expands range
The Mumbai-based business GreenSole is working to increase its production of recycled shoes as it plans to set up skill centres across India to employ the rural population, the first one being in Jamshedpur.
Starting with Jamshedpur, GreenSole plans to launch skill centres across India where villagers will be employed to create recycled shoes for the brand. GreenSole takes parts of old shoes that are still intact, such as the soles, and uses them to create new life and new shoes.
Eventually, skill centre employees will be given the skills to upcycle shoes for their own community. The Jamshedpur project is funded by Tata Steel and GreenSole’s back end support is provided by Ram Fashion Exports.
GreenSole upcycled 35,000 pairs of shoes in 2017 and the target for 2018 is 70,000 pairs, a large increase. Skill centres will also help to increase the business’ production capacity which aims to provide shoes to the needy across India by 2023.
The business has seen its revenue greatly increase along with the increasing production. For the 2016 fiscal year, the brand reported a revenue total of Rs 20 lakh and this total rose to Rs 71 lakh for the past fiscal year.
The brand’s CEO and Managing Director, Bhandari, told Forbes India: “Forty percent of our revenue comes from corporate CSR programs, 30 percent recycling as a service, and the rest is retail. We plan to reverse it.”
The brand is also working to expand its product range. The current product portfolio includes 14 styles of upcycled footwear, which is sold on Amazon India, through wholesalers, and at flea markets. Over the course of June, the brand aims to have 30 styles on offer across its retail platforms. GreenSole also plans to expand from footwear and also launch other items made from recycled shoes such as laces and coasters.
Ramesh Dhami and Shriyans Bhandar bonded over their love of running and noticed how many pairs of shoes they wore through a year and had to discard. When Bhandar saw Dhami create sandals using the soles of discarded sneakers, he saw potential and together they launched GreenSole in 2013 and registered it in 2015. As of 2018, over 40 corporations, including Adidas and Skechers, have tied up with the business as part of their CSR programs.
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