Kenyan non-profit Ocean Sole turns discarded flip-flops into stunning art and functional products, in turn raising visual awareness of the scale of the problem.
Flip-flop car sculpture highlights the problem
Ocean Sole turn flip-flops into art and functional products and in turn raise visual awareness of the problem at hand. By creating these sculptures, they are creating employment in a country that has over 40% unemployment rate. But they are also sending a message about how we can help our planet, our oceans and people, through creating beautiful art that portray an important message about the state of our oceans.
Ocean Sole believe their actions must make a difference
Ocean Sole is a social enterprise that upcycles washed up flip-flops found along the beaches and waterways in Kenya. Inspired by the toys children were making out of the flip-flop debris, Julie Church, the Ocean Sole Founder, encouraged their mothers to collect, wash, and cut the discarded flip-flops into colourful products to sell at local Kenyan Markets as another means of income for their families.
Ocean Sole’s social enterprise positively impacts over a 1,000 Kenyans through the collection of flip-flops and direct employment. They provide steady income to nearly 100 low-income Kenyans in their company. They recycled over half a million flip-flops in 2017 and aim to recycle a million this year. They contribute over 10-15% of their revenue to beach cleanups, vocational and educational programmes as well as conservation efforts.
Ocean Sole use their social enterprise to pay bonuses to employees, invest in a welfare programme that allows a zero return in funds to all employees to help facilitate payments for educating their children, buying land and other means. Ocean Sole believe their actions must make a difference to the plight of our oceans and the company ethos is to give back what they earn to change the lives of many – through employment, education, and meals.
Follow ocean sole
Find out more about Ocean Sole and flip-flop art on their website (where you can also choose from a wide range of sculptures, from tiny ornaments to giant commissions), or on their social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
9 REASONS REASONS TO REFUSE SINGLE-USE PLASTIC + 9 TIPS FOR LIVING WITH LESS OF IT
Single use plastic is everywhere. In a matter of decades we have become addicted to the convenience of single use plastic. But we cannot escape the consequences of throwing away vast quantities of a material that takes hundreds of years to break down. Here are 9 reason why we should refuse it, and 9 ways to be less reliant on it.