It’s estimated that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean. How many of these are flip flops we don’t know, but what we do know is that there are organisations like Ocean Sole who are tackling the problem in a unique way.
Ocean Sole is an organisation that constructs and sells animal sculptures made from flip flops that are washed up on Kenyan shores. The company, founded by Julie Church, works with creative Kenyan women who carve washed up flip flops and then construct colourful 3D animal sculptures and gifts to sell at markets. They have become internationally recognised and large orders from abroad has meant that production has been increased. Extra large, made to order masterpieces are now regularly commissioned. Ocean Sole even created a life size Minke whale using flip flops on a wire frame for Environmental Day in Mombasa, Kenya. Their work has also been featured at fashion week in Rome and Paris, and at London Zoo as well as being marketed at trade fairs in America.
Ocean Sole flip flop sculptures are eye-catching and engaging, but they also alert the public to the issue of marine debris. They’re available to buy and 10% of the proceeds go back into the Ocean Sole Foundation, which was created to support organisations that are raising awareness about marine plastic pollution and to help them in their efforts to recycle debris.