Everybody knows that the flip-flops are comfortable, lightweight accessories that represent summer, heat, freedom and holidays, but few know the dark face of the coin or, in this case, of the flip-flops.
Flip-flops are one of the causes of pollution of watercourses and oceans, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) based in Nairobi, it is estimated that an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic and synthetics float on every square kilometer of ocean and that, the impact of this pollution, generates a cost of over 8 billion US dollars a year; a good percentage of this disaster is caused by the flip-flops.
These comfortable and colorful slippers for the Western world are an accessory to be used in free moments, but, for over 3 billion people, they are the only pair of shoes they own, so you can easily understand what numbers we are talking about, only in Kenya there is a factory that produces 100,000 flip-flops a day.
These slippers are used for a long time but then end up inexorably in the trash and, unfortunately, a part ends up in the waterways, and then heads to our oceans, creating an ecological damage.
But there is good news coming from Kenya: Ocean Sole is a social company, that has made the recycling of flip flops a true form of art.
The company recycles about 400,000 flip-flops a year, collecting over 1,000 tons of flip-flops from the ocean and waterways in Kenya; it also provides a stable income to over 150 Kenyans working there and contributes with more than 10% of its revenues to the marine conservation programs.
The work of Ocean Sole begins with the collection of flip-flops, that are washed, modeled and assembled together, and then used to create colorful and fun sculptures.
The products and the mission of Ocean Sole have become Internationally recognized, sold and exhibited in London, New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Singapore and Australia.
Ocean Sole has received global awards and WWF Switzerland has purchased 15,000 turtle-shaped sculptures, confirming the attention of environmental organizations towards this company.