“Thaely” is a word derived from Hindi which translates to plastic bags. Thaely is a brand that makes sneakers from waste plastic bags. We developed an alternative method of upcycling waste plastic bags that creates a strong and flexible fabric called the ThaelyTex that has properties similar to leather. The ThaelyTex fabric is used to make Vegan sneakers with ethical sourcing and production methods.
We have currently raised over 60,000 USD and won over 30,000 AED through local startup competition. We have finished making our production ready prototype and are currently in the process of starting our first production run of sneakers in India and have already received inquiries from multiple local and international retailers.
Target market: Vegans: Interest in 'veganism' increased seven fold in the five years between 2014 and 2019, according to Google trends. It now gets almost four times more interest than vegetarian and gluten free searches. Millennials and Gen Zers: Using data from the United Nations, Bloomberg predicted that Gen Z will make up 32 percent of the global population in 2019, compared to an estimated 31.5 percent of Millennials. Conscious Consumers: Plastic is the most popular modification amongst UK consumers, with 46% stating they actively reduce their plastic usage. When asked why, the most popular response is to help the environment, followed by the greater good and because of social pressures. Streetwear Enthusiasts: Streetwear is a rising industry with an estimated value of $309 billion, driven by a meteoric rise in popularity from 2017, when search volume of branded and unbranded streetwear terms grew by 157%. We estimate the size of the global streetwear market at $185 billion by sales*, making it by some estimates about 10% of the entire global apparel and footwear market.
Problem or Opportunity
Fashion Industry is the 2nd largest polluter in the world. No efficient way of recycling plastic bags. 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. 100 M marine animals are killed each year by plastic waste. Sustainable brands have higher prices & a lower focus on designs & fashionability. Brands use their green products as green washing tactics by having only limited releases. Millennials aged 22-35 and Gen Z aged 16-21 make up the biggest percentage of Conscious consumers and are more likely than any other generation to say that they would pay extra for eco-friendly or sustainable products. Millennials and Gen Z consumers also are the biggest consumers for ‘Streetwear’. The Economist’s “The World in 2019” predicts that veganism will be the most popular topic of the new year, declaring 2019 “the year veganism goes mainstream” . Most vegan consumers fall in the Millennials and Gen Z category.
Solution (product or service)
Thaely would initially focus on ‘Thaely Y2K’ a sneaker inspired by skate and basketball culture, two themes omnipresent in the streetwear culture. The name Y2K is a nod to fashion and trends from the early 2000s, which are set to have resurgence in 2019 and 2020. The sneaker would be entirely constructed out of upcycled or ethically sourced natural materials. The outer layer would be constructed from Thaely’s upcycled plastic material and would have a leather like feel, the inside would be constructed from Eco polyester a breathable material which is created from recycled plastic bottles, the sole are made from ethically sourced natural rubber that causes no harm to rubber trees and forests and finally the glue used would be Vegan, free of any animal products. Thaely’s Y2K sneaker would be environmentally conscious and ethical but would still be trendy and stylish.
Thaely may not have competitors that complete the all 3 checklists of being streetwear, sustainable and Vegan. But the brand could face competition from existing brands that have an ethical outlook such as the following brands: • Toms • Veja • Cariuma • Adidas Parley
Advantages or differentiators
Many brands such as Adidas Parley and Veja only focus on Eco-polyester a fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. Though the fabric is relatively good for the environment than traditional fabrics, Recycling waste plastic bottles is a common practice around the world and does not impact marine and wild life as much as plastic bags. No viable method of recycling plastic bags exists other than the ThaelyTex fabric. ThaelyTex is a proprietary fabric which is a ground breaking approach to recycling plastic bags as it requires no additional chemicals in its production and has minimal emissions. It has properties very similar to leather and hence the same production process as traditional sneaker manufacturing can be used which keeps manufacturing costs relatively low. All Thaely products would also be enriched using the trade in system. A Thaely’s products life does not end after it is worn out or no longer used. The shoes can be traded in via the brands website in exchange for discounts, reward points and benefits such as early access. Which helps Thaely reach the holy grail of sustainability a “closed-loop system”.
The Thaely Y2K Pro Sneakers would be sold for 150 USD The estimate sales and revenue for the first 5 years are the following: Units sold: (1500- Year 1) (1800- Year 2) (2160- Year 3) (2592- Year 4) (3110- Year 5) Sales Revenue: (225000- Year 1) (270000- Year 2) (324000- Year 3) (388800- Year 4) (466560- Year 5)
Thaely’s strategy would be to mainly focus on online retailing. Through both the brands own website with worldwide shipping and third party online retailers. Thaely sneakers would also be sold through niche physical retailors that specialize in streetwear and Vegan apparel.
The brand also offers a trade-in service which would encourage users to trade in their old worn out Thaely sneakers to receive a discounted price on their next Thaely product which allows us to responsibly upcycle Thaely sneakers or to refurbish and donate less worn-out pairs to organizations such as charities, orphanages, refugee camps etc. This also enables the brand to maximize customer retention along with generating a recurring revenue.
Money will be spent on
The investment funds would be used for the following: Further R&D on the ThaelyTex fabric Development of new sneaker styles using the ThaelyTex fabric Expansion of the Thaely Product line into Bags and Clothing
• Challenges of the seasonality of the fashion business • Changing Regulations eg. Anti-dumping laws, Import duties. • Threat of oversaturation in the streetwear market • The mentality of ‘Going green is always expensive.’ Thaely will have to portray its brand image precisely and convince the target market about its affordability. • Imitation from competitors from countries that have weak patent laws. • Ban on plastic bags cutting the raw material supply
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Amity University Incubation Center 2019-Present
Won the competition and other awards
Amity University Eureka Startup Competition 2019 Sharjah chamber Award for Innovators 2019 Technology Innovation Pioneers Envirotech Startup 2020
Currently in the process of filing a patent in India