Eco-Friendly Group Cleans up Beaches of Kenya and Turns Discarded Flip-Flops Into Colorful Works of Art

Ocean Sole’s innovative approach to beach cleanup in Kenya not only addresses the urgent issue of plastic pollution but also transforms discarded flip-flops into vibrant pieces of art. Founded by Julie Church, the company engages local communities in cleaning up beaches and waterways, primarily focusing on the alarming amount of flip-flops discarded in these areas. The initiative not only aids in environmental conservation but also provides economic opportunities for low-income Kenyans. By encouraging the collection, washing, and cutting of discarded flip-flops, Ocean Sole empowers local communities to turn them into unique sculptures, providing an additional source of income for nearly 100 individuals.

Community participation is integral to Ocean Sole’s process, from the initial collection of flip-flops to the creation of the final products. The washed and dried flip-flops are meticulously joined, carved into various shapes, sanded, and then transformed into colorful sculptures. The company’s creations, often inspired by endangered species, serve not only as eye-catching art but also as a means to raise awareness about environmental issues. Through their efforts, Ocean Sole positively impacts over 1,000 Kenyans, offering steady income to collectors and contributing to the well-being of local communities.

Beyond the artistic aspect, Ocean Sole’s commitment extends to environmental conservation. They set ambitious goals to recycle a million flip-flops annually, along with recycling one tonne of styrofoam per month and saving over five hundred trees each year by repurposing flip-flops instead of wood. The company also allocates a significant portion of its revenue to beach cleanups, vocational and educational programs, and conservation efforts, showcasing a holistic approach to addressing the challenges of plastic pollution and environmental degradation. Supporters can contribute to Ocean Sole’s mission by purchasing their unique art online or actively participating in beach cleanup initiatives.

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