Decor: Ocean Sole Caring for the Environment
[Image Credit: Ocean Sole Giraffe Sculptures – Danny Seo/Lonny]
A summer staple rubber flip flops are more often than not cheap, cheerful, and therefore readily disposable. In East Africa thousands of discarded flip flops are washed up onto the beaches, littering the beautiful coastline, and as a result have a detrimental effect on the local wildlife, ecosystems and eventually people, as toxins from the harmful plastics make their way into water systems, and bits of plastic get eaten by sea creatures such as turtles. Alarmed by what was happening, Kenyan-born marine conservationist Julie Church started the company Ocean Sole in 1997 as a way of educating people around the world about the importance of marine conservation. Communicating their message through a range of innovate products made from the flip flops, Ocean Sole helps clean their local beaches by collecting discarded flip flops and turning them into hand-carved sculptures like giraffes, elephants, dolphins; and fashion and personal accessories, like bangles and key rings. The multiple colours combine to give the products a rainbow effect, not unlike colourful play dough or putty that has been squished to form colourful swirls and blotches.
[Image credit: Elephant – Ocean Sole]
Ocean Sole aims to recycle around 400 000 discarded flip flops a year, and works with 100 artisans from the company’s workshops in Nairobi and remote coastal areas, helping to create much-needed employment. 5% of profits from Ocean Soles products and 25% from the giant sculptures are donated to the Ocean Sole Foundation. The foundation aims to educate on issues regarding environmental responsibility, and as such, it is not surprising to see Ocean Sole’s products stocked in zoos and aquariums around the world.
For further information about Ocean Sole visit: www.ocean-sole.com
For a list of stockists around the globe visit: www.ocean-sole.com
[Image credits: The images shown belong to: top, Lonny, bottom, Ocean Sole. If downloaded and used elsewhere must be credited accordingly]