Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Flipflop Recyclying Company in Kenya - Ocean Sole

The kids are home sick from school today so ABC3 is on and they are rugged up on the couch.  It's cold here in Brisbane today 10 degrees to 20 degrees however it's rainy and no sun so it's actually 16 degrees at the moment.  Anyway there was a show on ABC3 that showed a segment on The Flipflop Recycling Company in Kenya which was amazing.  Apparently lots and lots of thongs (from tourists losing them end up floating in the water ways down to the shores of Kenya in fact it says 400,000 kgs of rubber waste a year and they create masterpieces for sale all around the world.  There are 100 individuals at their workshops in Nairobi, in the city slums and in remote coastal areas providing much needed employment.

The story was a wonderful story of solving a problem in positive way.  The thongs keep showing up on the beaches and instead of people having to collect them to throw away a company was started to collect them and use the thongs to make animals, baskets etc.  The thongs are scrubbed and washed by hand and then glued together and then cut and molded to make things.  I was really taken with this story and it's a wonderful positive way to solve a problem that isn't going to go away as people are always losing thongs in water or leaving them behind on the beaches and they wash up elsewhere.  At the same time it gives people who would otherwise not have employment a job and satisfaction of providing for their family and creating things.

The Flipflop Recycling Company is currently rebranding itself to Ocean Sole.  There's an article here.


  1. What an amazing way to recycle washed-up flip-flops. Ingenuity and creativity when put to good use are truly awe-inspiring. Thank you for sharing this story.

  2. What a great story and the animals are beautiful.