download the article to read later

Written and Contributed by

Mumbai, Maharashtra


Greensole refurbishes old footwear into comfortable slippers and donates them to people in need. They also provide skills to the underprivileged through skill centres and retail eco-friendly footwear.

What is the project about?

As athletes, Shriyans Bhandari and Ramesh Dhami ran hundreds of kilometres every year. They also ran through at least three to four pairs of sports shoes every year. The soles were in good condition but the shoe sides tore within months. The duo always wondered if they could find some use for the intact soles of these quality sports shoes. A bit of research led to the idea of refurbishing them into trendy slippers. 

With further research, it was found that worldwide every year more than 35,00,00,000 pairs of shoes are discarded, while as per the recent report by WHO, 1.5 billion people are infected by diseases that could be prevented by wearing proper footwear. While manufacturing a pair of shoes involves a total of assembling up to 65 discrete parts in 360 steps, which generates 30 lbs of emissions; equivalent to leaving a 100-watt bulb burning for a week.

At Greensole, we refurbish old footwear into comfortable slippers and donate them to people in need. We also provide skills to the underprivileged through our skill centre and also retail eco-friendly footwear. 

We have made a humble start by providing footwear to more than 3,74,000 people in need across the villages of India and by 2020, we aim to provide footwear to more than 10,00,000 people in need while restoring their dignity. Our vision is to contribute to social good, by creating a self-sustaining infrastructure that facilitates the provision of the basic necessity of footwear to everyone, forever, environmental good, by refurbishing discarded shoes with zero carbon footprint and economic good by giving employment to refurbish shoes.

Project Funded by

We have more than 50 corporate partners that include Adidas, Skechers, ONGC, JLL, Just Dial, India Bulls, Goqii, L&T, Canon, Crocs, Rolls-Royce, Axis Bank, Tata Group, etc. where they sponsor the cost of refurbishment of discarded shoes to comfortable footwear.

Stakeholders Involved

Greensole has a team for designing, marketing, corporate social responsibility, data collection, operations, and accounts. Other collaborations are short-term with schools, corporates, youth groups, and other NGOs who help in the collection of old footwear, donation of up-cycled footwear to the children in need and collect data of the children in need. Corporates sponsor the cost of refurbishment under their CSR.

What is the impact?

Greensole creates social, economic, and environmental impacts. Greensole upcycles old footwear which would have been discarded into the landfills, and by doing so we save on carbon emissions. The upcycled footwear is provided to children in need across rural India. By providing the basic necessity of footwear, the children can walk long distances comfortably to their schools and have increased the attendance of the children in schools while protecting them from the diseases caused by walking barefoot. We have also provided skills to the underprivileged through our skill centre, where we have trained and employed under-served women from rural areas.

Images by Greensole | © all rights reserved

Links to read more:


About Greensole:

At Greensole, we give discarded shoes a second life by refurbishing them into comfortable slippers and providing them to the people in need, thus contributing to environmental, social and economic good. The efforts have brought a smile to 3,74,000 beneficiaries so far. We have partnered with over 50 leading corporate in the last couple of years, some of them are Adidas, Skechers, India Bulls, Axis Bank and ONGC. We have also been featured in over 150 news and media outlets including Forbes Asia 30 Under 30, Huffington Post, Live Mint, Hindustan Times, The Hindu and many more. The venture has also received appreciation letters from President Barack Obama and Sir Ratan Tata.