Flip flops are one of the most common types of footwear around the world, and their affordability makes them the primary shoe for a staggering percentage of the population.
However, they are far from the sturdiest shoe out there, and even with up-keeping and mending, these flimsy flops will likely only last a couple years at maximum. From there, many of them will end up in the oceans, occasionally washing up onto beaches. In fact, so many flip flops wash ashore that a whole new industry has been created around it.
Flip flop art is made from old, discarded flip flops that are up-cycled into incredible designs. The shoes are picked up from beaches, washed, compressed, and carved resulting in gorgeous sculptures. While several organizations around the world are creating this art, one of the most well known is an enterprise in Kenya called Ocean Sole.
Based in Nairobi, this organization is working hard to contribute to the conservation of the oceans. Their website states that they’re able to remove 750,000 flips flops from the shores of Kenya per year, equivalent to roughly 45,000 kg of waste! Not only does this organization turn this debris into stunning products, but they create jobs and put 10-15% of their revenue towards beach cleanups, vocational training, and educational programs.
Photos, including header photos, sourced from
Ocean Sole Africa’s Instagram page
Flip flop art is a great way to take an existing problem and make it beautiful.
Read more about Ocean Sole Africa’s mission and check out their online shop at: https://oceansoleafrica.com/