A sustainable trainer manufacturer uses 100 per cent natural and recycled materials, while employing ethical business practices
Spotted: We don’t tend to think of footwear as contributing to carbon emissions and global waste, yet the sheer number of shoes made each year takes a huge amount of resources. According to one study, the industry is responsible for as much as 1.4 per cent of global carbon emissions, and each pair of shoes requires around 8,000 litres of water to manufacture.
One company working to address this problem is Thaely, a brand that makes trainers entirely from recycled waste and natural materials. Around ten plastic bags and twelve plastic bottles are used to create the fabric and laces of each pair, and the soles of the shoes are made from natural or recycled rubber – making them entirely vegan.
In addition, the production process is vegan as well — the binding uses vegan glue and the production line is sanitised using vegan detergents. The shoes are packaged in reusable totes made from recycled plastic bottles; the box they come in is made from recycled paper embedded with seeds and dyed with waste coffee grounds.
The Indian start-up was launched by 23-year-old Ashay Bhave, who developed the business as a design exercise. Bhave presented the project at Dubai’s 2019 Eureka startup pitch competition and was awarded first place — along with the funding to produce a production-ready prototype. The shoes sell for around $110 a pair and can be shipped worldwide.
Thaely has gone all-out in its use of recycled and vegan materials, but a number of other manufacturers are also working to produce greener shoes. Some of these innovations include footwear made from food waste and sustainable 3D-printed shoes.
Written By: Lisa Magloff