Meet Ashay Bhave, the 23-year-old founder of Indian footwear startup Thaely that makes $100 sustainable sneakers from worldwide waste of plastic bags
Plastic pollution is a huge problem around the world. Even though many western nations have banned the use of plastic bags, developing countries in Africa and Asia still use plastic bags. The situation is no different in India, a country of 1.38 billion people.
According to estimates, India produces more than 25,000 tons of plastic waste every day, which accounts for 8-10 percent of total waste generated by the country. Now, one Indian tech startup is on a mission to reduce the plastic pollution problem by reusing plastic waste to create sustainable shoes.
Thaely is an Indian footwear startup founded by 23-year-old Ashay Bhave. Since July 2021, Bhave’s startup has recycled over 50,000 plastic bags and 35,000 discarded plastic bottles into ‘sustainable’ sneakers.
Bhave got the inspiration for his footwear company back in 2017 while he was pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). The company’s name ‘Thaely,’ literally translates to plastic carry bags in Hindi. According to Bhave, the idea for Thaely was part of a design project he worked on during his college years.
Now, Bhave has turned his college project idea into a successful and sustainable business model. Bhave said says every pair of Thaely Y2K Pro sneakers, which currently sells for $100, contains 10 bags and 12 bottles. Bhave says his business is already profitable and plans to sell around 25,000 pairs of shoes by the end of this year.
While Thaely’s shoes are ‘Made in India’ products, the startup plans for is global launch with expansion into foreign markets like Dubai, Europe, the Americas, and Australia. You can learn more about Thaely from the video below.