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Footwear may not seem to be very high on the list of products that cause harm to the environment. After all, it is not every day that we throw away old shoes – in comparison to things like plastic bags or wrappers. But as it turns out, that does not stop thrown away footwear from being, in fact, among the largest marine pollutants in the oceans. And it is easy to guess what most of this disposable footwear is made of today – plastic.

Professional athlete Shriyans Bhandari came up with an answer to this peculiar problem. Greensole, the company he kick-started, came into being in 2013 when he was just nineteen years old. Together with another athlete, Ramesh Dhami, he laid foundations for this great initiative whose aim is to recycle old footwear and turn it into new shoes for children who cannot afford to buy a pair for themselves.

The idea came to the two athletes when, while running hundreds of miles every year, they noticed how quickly they were wearing through their sneakers. They were eager to find a way to use the shoes’ soles that were still intact. The effects of their eagerness to help the people and environment are greater than anticipated.

Greensole has already recycled about 50,000 pairs of shoes! The company’s team identifies areas where people are in need of footwear and provides them with these wonderful gifts. So far, their shoes are worn by people in villages in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Lucknow, and many more. On their website, you can buy a pair of recycled footwear as well as donate a pair to children through the company.




The company’s vision is not only to recycle thrown away shoes and make new items that benefit of children in need, but also to do it with a minimum carbon footprint.

According to the reports of the World Health Organization, 1.5 billion people suffer from diseases that could be prevented by wearing proper footwear, so not only does this amazing project help prevent disease, it is keeping trash out of our environment! Click here to learn more about Greensole.

If you’re feeling inspired by this story and want to reduce the amount of plastics you use, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.


Image source: Greensole

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