Wednesday, 22 May 2013
The colourful recycled animals made in Kenya were once pieces of rubber being pushed by the Indian Ocean's currents. Kenya's Ocean Sole sandal recycling company is helping to clean the East African country's beaches of used, washed-up flip-flops Workers in Nairobi make 100 different products from the discarded flip-flops. In 2008, the company shipped an 18-foot giraffe to Rome for display during a fashion week. Company founder Julie Church says the goal of her company is to create products that people want to buy, then make them interested in the story behind the products.
Workers wash the flip-flops, then glue together the various colours, they carve the products, sand and rewash them. Julie Church first noticed Kenyan children turning the rubber flip-flops into toys when she worked as a marine scientist on Kenya's coast. Turtles hatching on the beach were struggling through the piles of debris on beaches to get to the ocean. A the plan to clean up the debris and create artistic and useful items was developed and flip-flop recycling was born.