The problem of pollution and environmental degradation continues to worsen, with landfills filling up at alarming rates, particularly with used tires. In the U.S. alone, a majority of the 300 million tires disposed of annually end up in landfills, leading to significant environmental harm.
Introducing Wheelies, a unique solution to this problem!
What follows below is the pitch I made to Civics Unplugged, an organization that gives young people the knowledge, network, and funding they need to become Civic Innovators.
A Sneaker Revolution
Wheelies is an innovative not-for-profit shoe company that turns used tires into sustainable shoe soles. Leveraging the rubber tread from these discarded tires, Wheelies has crafted a prototype shoe that is not only stylish but also environmentally friendly. The goal? Move from the prototype stage to full production, releasing a limited drop to the market.
While other companies, like Allbirds, focus on using natural materials, they don’t necessarily leave a positive environmental footprint. Wheelies, on the other hand, transforms something harmful (tire waste) into a valuable and fashionable product. Competitors like Indosole do use repurposed tires but restrict themselves to flip-flops – a limited market. Wheelies aims to serve a broader audience by offering casual, comfortable work shoes suitable for various climates.
By launching Wheelies, we aim to:
- Reduce landfill waste: By measuring the number of tires used per shoe and multiplying that by the number of shoes produced.
- Raise public awareness: By tracking the number of reads on our blog posts and views on our social media platforms.
This initiative closely aligns with the Civics 2030 Campaign’s goal to combat Global Air Pollution. By diminishing tire landfills, we aim to improve air quality, especially in regions like California and Kuwait, where tire landfills are prevalent. Additionally, we plan to leverage our social media platforms to educate the masses about the environmental threats posed by tire waste. To bolster our efforts and support, Civics Unplugged will be one of Wheelies’ benefactors.
The Dream Team
- Rui do Rosario – Our young, passionate CEO and Co-Founder. As a Civics Unplugged Fellow, Rui brings a fresh perspective and a deep concern for the environment. LinkedIn Profile
- Alden Dorosario – An experienced entrepreneur and advisor. With vast knowledge in startups and marketing, Alden offers invaluable business insights. LinkedIn Profile
- Allen Rosario – Former Senior Executive at Bridgestone Tires. He possesses a wealth of knowledge about tires, ensuring that Wheelies capitalizes on the best materials available. LinkedIn Profile
With such a team, we are confident in addressing every aspect of our mission, from understanding global pollution to effectively transforming tires into fashionable footwear.
A Timely Venture
Today’s environment is at a tipping point. With evident signs like extreme weather and smog, the world needs green initiatives now more than ever. The current U.S. administration is pushing for eco-friendly policies, providing a favorable backdrop for businesses like Wheelies. Furthermore, with the growing concern of Gen Z about climate change, the timing couldn’t be better.
Funding & Budget
Our mission is substantial, and to make it a reality, we are requesting $1,000 to finance our first limited drop. The majority of our expenses encompass manufacturing and shipping, with costs ranging from $20k to $100k for our initial 1k-5k shoe batch. While our request might seem modest, every contribution pushes us closer to a cleaner, more sustainable world.
Join us in making the world a cleaner place, one shoe at a time. Your support can help turn this dream into reality!