Ocean Sole, a social firm whose sole purpose is to clean beaches and provide to people in low-class communities, has created a workshop for a group of artisans to turn disposed flip-flops into amazing artworks.
Flip-flops are a type of footwear, known to be comfortable and casually worn. They also account for a larger percentage of waste that ends up in the ocean and the sea. According to research, an estimated 3 billion flip flops, find their way into the ocean every year.
This workshop which is located in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, was officially launched in 1999 and has since imparted to over a thousand Kenyans, and provided a steady source of income for up to 100 people, through the collection of flip flops, and making them into artworks, which are sold to zoos, aquariums museums and gift shops all over the world.
The team transform Flip flops into animals such as giraffes, dolphins, lions, etc., some of which have made an appearance at the Paris fashion week. The process of this artwork includes gathering the flip-flops from the ocean, washing and drying them out, and using a lathe to smooth off the edges.
The artworks aren’t just a fun project as they are also part of the artist’s marine conservation projects, to save sea turtles. Ocean deposits have been a threat to sea turtles as they might try to eat a floating flip flop, choke and die.
The firm uses its social enterprise to pay bonuses to employees and invest in a welfare programme that helps facilitate payments for educating their children and living a better life. It is also planning to export the idea to other countries that are experiencing the same flip-flop problem, which will be creating jobs and help save the planet.