Mumbai: 23-yr-old Amity Dubai alumnus turns plastic waste into sneakers

Abu Dhabi: A 23-year-old former Dubai student from Mumbai, India has successfully recycled tonnes of plastic trash into thousands of pairs of sneakers.

In July, Swiss International School Dubai (SISD) offered his recycled sneakers as part of their uniform, in part because they wanted his story to inspire students.

Ashay Bhave started his startup ‘Thaely’ in July 2021. 

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The company has recycled material from more than 50,000 plastic bags and 35,000 plastic bottles. Bhave came up with the idea for this business in 2017 while studying Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA).

The brand name ‘Thaely’ literally translates to plastic carry bags in Hindi.

This idea of ​​shoes made of plastic and rubber was presented by Ashay Bhave at the Amity University, Dubai’s ‘Eureka’ start-up competition in 2019. His victory there encouraged him and it took two years only for the development of the fabric using plastic before he could make a prototype.

After months of perfecting the recycling process, Ashay finally made the decision to set up his manufacturing plant in New Delhi where he contracted with a local waste management plant to supply him with raw materials.

Ashay’s startup company buys raw materials from waste management companies. Plastic bags are turned into the fabric with the help of heat and pressure, called ThaelyTex. 

To make one pair of shoes, 12 plastic bottles and 10 plastic bags are used. They come in four variants, priced at $99 or Rs 7,000. 

To date, Ashay’s company has recycled around 50,000 plastic bags and 35,000 plastic bottles.

In November 2021, impressed by Ashay’s efforts, Anand Mahindra said to ‘count him in’ for fundraising in a tweet.

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