Home / Funny / Viral / Eco-Friendly Group Cleans Up Kenya Beach And Turns Trash Into Art


While there is nothing wrong with beach clean-up initiatives worldwide, we rarely get to witness the actual fate of the collected trash. Creating art out of collected waste is even more uncommon. One organisation, Ocean Sole, organises clean-ups to remove trash from Kenya's beaches and waterways in an effort to reduce the number of flip-flops that are dumped there annually.

With the assistance of the local community, they then give these abandoned items a second chance at life by transforming them into vibrant sculptures of various sizes.

The founder of Ocean Sole, Julie Church, saw kids making toys out of abandoned flip-flops, which is how the social enterprise got its start. Observing the material's versatility, she then urged the mothers of the children to gather, clean, and cut the discarded flip-flops so they could create new goods to sell at neighbourhood markets as a side source of income. 

Joe Mwakiremba, head of sales, tells My Modern Met, "Ocean Sole was founded on the premise of cleaning our oceans and waterways whilst employing artists from high-impact communities in Kenya." Currently, the company directly employs over 1,000 Kenyans in addition to collecting flip-flops. This involves giving approximately 100 low-income Kenyans a consistent source of income.

Every stage of the process depends on community participation. The filthy flip-flops are cleaned with detergent and allowed to dry after the collector has been paid and departs, according to Mwakiremba.

“The next step is joining them together using an adhesive and then carved down into different shapes and forms. The third stage is sanding which is a smoothening phase before the finished product is finally washed and shipped to many of our ‘soumates’ around the world.”

Ocean Sole can create two to three larger sculptures per week, or fifteen small sculptures every day. In addition to designing cars and useful items like bottle openers and doorstops, they draw inspiration for the majority of their works from endangered species in an effort to raise awareness of these issues. Mwakiremba says, "Each piece is unique based on the materials collected." "Selling us the plastic waste helps the locals a lot. When compared to the dry seasons, they find a lot more flip-flops during the heavy rainy season, which is fantastic for us. He also says that some of their collectors have been able to buy land and even livestock, and one of them has been able to send one of his children to college.

Kingsway Exchange Tunnels In London To Receive Over $268 Million In Renovations
Hannah Waddingham Takes Hand Made Clutch Made By Her Daughter To The Red Carpet
Artist Completes Incredible Drawing Of The World Map With 1 642 Animals After 3 Years Hard Work
Over 40 Dad Show Up In Same Shirt At Their Kids 8th Grade Graduation
Incredible Bronze Age Treasures Discovered To Have Been Made Out Of Meteorite
136 Juvenile Galápagos Tortoises Set Free In The Wild
Ancient Climate Change Illuminate 8,000-Year-Old Patagonia Cave Art
What The Earth Would Look Like If All The Ice Was Melted
First Sighting Of Two Male Humpback Whales Having Intercourse