Thaely was initially developed as design exercise by our founder Ashay Bhave to develop an ethically produced sneaker that only uses components recycled from waste materials. The aim of the exercise was to find a solution to the problem of the 100 billion plastic bags used each year that use 12 million barrels of oil and kill 100,000 marine animals annually.
The waste plastic bag fabric was developed and perfected over the course of two years, from 2017-2018. To test and prove the fabric, a rough prototype was created with the help of a local shoe repair store in Mumbai with existing patterns, last and soles. This was a test to prove that the fabric could be used like traditional leather with existing manufacturing techniques. The test was successful and the finished prototype functioned and looked like a traditional leather sneaker. The shoe and along with its business plan was presented at Amity University Dubai’s 2019 Eureka startup pitch competition and was awarded the first place. Thaely was able to receive funding and the production of the second prototype was put into action.
The second prototype aimed to make a production ready sample, was developed in Dubai. The design was completely original and was inspired by classic basketball sneakers of the early 2000s to invoke a sense of familiarity. The final prototype was tested and refined to make a production ready sample.