Meet Gujarati Siblings Turning Sugarcane and Plastic into Footwear

Discover how Reroute is transforming the footwear industry by crafting eco-friendly shoes from sugarcane residue and recycled plastic, setting a new standard for sustainability

Meet Gujarati Siblings Turning Sugarcane and Plastic into Footwear

Wednesday February 07, 2024,

2 min Read

In a world increasingly conscious of its ecological footprint, the issue of shoe waste has come to the forefront of environmental concerns. The World Health Organisation estimates that a staggering 35 crore pairs of shoes are discarded worldwide each year, contributing significantly to landfill and ocean pollution due to their non-biodegradable nature. This alarming statistic highlights the urgent need for sustainable practices within the footwear industry, traditionally known for its hefty carbon emissions.

Enter 'Reroute,' a revolutionary venture spearheaded by Gujarati siblings Parth and Karishma Dalal. Launched in May 2023, Reroute is not just a brand; it's a movement towards intertwining technology, sustainability, and social responsibility within the footwear sector. The Dalals have introduced a pioneering concept that utilises carbon-negative materials, such as sugarcane residue and recycled plastic water bottles, to manufacture eco-friendly shoes. This innovative approach not only addresses the issue of waste but also offers a sustainable alternative to traditional footwear.

Parth, 31, elucidated their mission, stating, "Our primary goal was to create products that are entirely carbon-neutral. Our approach involved not only reducing waste, such as sugarcane residue and plastic bottles, but also giving a second life to this waste." This vision has resonated with consumers, especially in metropolitan hubs like Bengaluru and Delhi, where Reroute has sold an impressive 400 pairs of shoes in just the past month.

The inception of Reroute was sparked by a casual conversation between Parth, Karishma, and their father, stemming from an observation about the prevalent culture of discarding shoes after minimal use among affluent families in Gujarat. This practice contributes significantly to the ever-growing pile of footwear waste, a concern that struck a chord with Parth. Having pursued a master's degree in pharmacy in New York in 2016 and worked in the pharmaceutical sector until 2019, Parth returned to India just before the COVID-19 pandemic. This return marked the beginning of a sustainability-focused journey for him and his sister.

Reroute's success is a testament to the changing consumer attitudes towards sustainability and environmental responsibility. By choosing Reroute, customers are not just purchasing a pair of shoes; they are making a statement about the importance of preserving our planet for future generations. The Dalals' venture is a beacon of hope in the fight against environmental degradation, proving that innovation and sustainability can go hand in hand in creating a greener future.