From Classroom Idea to World-renowned Eco-Footwear Brand: Ashay's Thaely Story

Thaely is redefining the footwear industry, creating sustainable shoes from recycled plastic and uplifting communities. Discover the journey of this revolutionary brand

From Classroom Idea to World-renowned Eco-Footwear Brand: Ashay's Thaely Story

Tuesday August 08, 2023,

2 min Read

When Ashay Bhave was a business administration student in 2017, he envisioned a unique project: turning plastic waste into ethical footwear. The grim reality is that over 100 billion plastic bags are used yearly, causing significant environmental harm. With this motivation, Ashay spent two years developing a fabric resembling leather but made entirely from plastic waste.

Fast forward to 2021, and Thaely was launched. The brand name, derived from the Hindi word for "plastic bag," perfectly encapsulates its mission. Thaely's innovative process involves obtaining plastic from waste facilities, cleaning, and sanitizing it, and then converting it into sheets through heat and pressure. Each pair of their sneakers, priced at Rs 8,000, is created from ten plastic bags and recycled bottles. Remarkably, they've already recycled 48,000 bottles and over 50,000 bags.

Besides the sustainable production process, Thaely champions the use of Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (rPET). This eco-friendly material offers the quality of regular polyester but is produced using 59% less energy. What’s more, customers can return worn-out sneakers for discounts, promoting a circular economy.

Beyond environmental initiatives, Thaely stands as a beacon of social responsibility. After witnessing the struggles of rag pickers in India, Ashay committed to changing the narrative. Thaely ensures fair wages, proper education, and adequate meals for its workers. The brand further solidifies its ethical position by using vegan production materials, earning a PETA certification, and winning PETA's Best Sneaker Award in 2021.

With plans to expand into global markets like Dubai, Europe, and America, Ashay's Thaely is not just a shoe brand but a symbol of sustainability and community empowerment. Through innovation and ethical practices, Thaely is redefining fashion for a greener, more inclusive future.