Anand Mahindra applauds 23-year-old boy's startup idea of manufacturing sneakers from plastic

The startup is named 'Thaely', founded by Ashay Bhave, who manufacturers shoes from plastic waste such as bags and bottles, resulting in solving the problems of plastic pollution.

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Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra is always active on Twitter to appreciate the innovative ideas and startups which go out of the box for the betterment of society. Recently the Chairman took to his social media to show his support to a talented entrepreneur who has a company that designs shoes from plastic waste. His tweet reads, "Embarrassed I didn’t know about this inspiring startup. These are the kinds of startups we need to cheer on—not just the obvious unicorns. I’m going to buy a pair today. (Can someone tell me the best way to get them?) And when he raises funds-count me in!"

The startup is named 'Thaely', founded by Ashay Bhave, who manufacturers shoes from plastic waste such as bags and bottles, resulting in solving the problems of plastic pollution. Till now, the company has successfully recycled tonnes of plastic trash into thousands of pairs of shoes. The 23-year-old came up with the idea during his graduation in Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in 2017. 

The company name 'Thealy' literally translates to plastic carry bags in Hindi. The idea was a design project that he worked on during his college years. However, the young entrepreneur has converted the idea into reality as a successful and sustainable business model. However, the company is a minnow in the billion-dollar sneaker industry, but it has plans to expand its reach in European and American markets.

The startup by Ashay Bhave was propelled by a victory at the Eureka startup pitch competition at Amity University Dubai in 2019. With this help, the 23-year-old got to work on a prototype. The design of his sneaker is inspired by the basketball sneaker fashion of the early 2000s. The sneakers are manufactured after procuring raw material from a waste management company. The then plastic bags are converted into a fabric called 'Thaely Tex' with the help of heat and pressure and the fabric is then cut into shoe patterns. The plastic bottles which are recycled as fabric are known as rPET (Polyethylene Terephthalate), which is used for lining, shoelaces, packaging and other parts. The sneakers sole is made up of recycled rubber from industrial scrap and tyres. Each pair of Thaely shoes helps to recycle 12 plastic bottles and 10 plastic bags. The shoes come in four variants with a price tag of $99 (Rs 7000). 

Ashay Bhave has planned to sell around 25,000 pairs of shoes by end of next year which means the production will recycle 200,000 plastic bags. While Thaely's shoes are 'Made in India' the company has planned to sell this product in the foreign market like Dubai, Europe, America and Australia.