Walking the talk - with sustainable shoes | Reimagining India

May 27, 2022

Making traditional shoes with leather is no mean task, but making them with used plastic, rubber, cork, or rice husk is even more challenging. But not for Chandni Batra and Akshay Bhave, two of India's 'green' entrepreneurs for whom the waste which would otherwise fill our landfills is a treasure trove as raw materials for sustainable sneakers.
It’s a well-documented fact that shoe production accounts for a fifth of the fashion industry’s environmental impact and generates almost 1.4 percent of global carbon emissions annually. With such grim statistics it’s time that sustainable sneakers made headway. That’s how Akshay Bhave started ‘Thaley’ , a movement to produce shoes out of discarded plastic bottles and single use plastic. India has been a forerunner in sustainability. And Bhave realised that fighting climate change by switching to alternatives is now no longer an option but a necessity.

Every single shoe of his uses 10 plastic bags and 12 plastic bottles. Bhave is one of the many in the whole new world of upcycled shoes that use carbon-neutralising techniques.

 Most footwear contains plastic soles and when discarded they take up to a million years to degrade. So for Chandni Batra, her go-to materials for her sustainable sneakers are anything that leaves minimal environmental damage. Her brand ‘A Blunt Story’ manufactures footwear which is 96 percent bio-based. These sustainable ‘shoepreneurs’ are a boon for the planet as they strive to make it a cleaner place, one step at a time. Walk the talk, literally, with these sustainable shoes.

With Frank Islam Foundation