471410017story_lowAre you about to throw away your old shoes? That non-biodegradable pair will reach landfills and remain there for years.

Today there is an alternative designed by the fierce Indian marathon runners Shriyans Bhandari and Ramesh Dhami, who threw away at least three pairs of shoes every year (given their intense physical activity) before giving birth to a brilliant idea, which is not just environmentally and economically respectful, but that would be also able to do some good.

They founded GreenSole, an organization that renews old shoes and transforms them into comfortable and fashionable shoes for hundreds of children who, even today, go to school barefoot.

Karan Bhasin, a former student of ARSUTORIA school, tells us:

Shriyans and Ramesh started their adventure in December 2013, at the beginning by testing the system with their own shoes. Today, GreenSole collaborates with 17 business partners which collect shoes at their offices and pay GreenSole to renew and donate them to the villages. In addition, the organizati
on conducts recovery activities across the country collaborating with many schools and colleges, and installing collection bins in various public places.

Once shoes reach the GreenSole production unit, in
Navi Mumbai, they are washed and disassembled to separate soles from uppers. The funds are cut to create the new shoe structure, while the anti-slip strips are made with the waste material of the uppers. The laces of the old models are, instead, used to pack shoes ready to be donated.

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Approximately 350 million pairs of shoes are discarded every year, all over the world, while at the same time 1.5 billion people do not yet own a pair, and millions of them suffer from diseases contracted due to unprotected feet. To combat this problem, GreenSole pre-selects villages to work in, conducts surveys on how many school children need slippers and measures their sizes. How to help Shriyan, Ramesh and their team? Donating a walk (a pair of old shoes) or buying a reconditioned one (www.greensole.in).

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