Kenyan Firm Turns Discarded Flip-flops into Art

GOOD BLACK NEWS

Flip-flop art Flip-flop art manufactured by Ocean Sole.

What do you do with a pair of old flip-flops? Not an idle question as the planet produces billions of pairs of non-biodegradable pairs every year.  But now a Kenyan biologist turned businesswoman has at least a partial solution. Julie Church‘s artisan manufacturing company, Ocean Sole, turned about 50 tons of dirty, discarded and damaged flip-flops into animal ornaments and jewellery in 2013. She anticipates doubling that amount this year, and will pay 25p per kilo to whoever brings them in.

In Kenya, where plastic flip-flops cost a dollar, beaches are littered not just with broken and battered domestic varieties but with flip-flops from all over the world. Branded flip-flops turn up on Kenya’s east-facing shoreline from the Middle East, South Asia and Australasia.  Ocean Sole is Church’s private sector attempt to educate consumers and producers alike. Sales have tripled in the last…

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