While flip-flops are casual, cute, fashionable beachwear, in emerging warm-climate markets, they are the sole shoes for over 3 billion people. Every day, billions of cheap flip-flops are made to supply the feet of the poor. These flip-flops get worn for years and are then discarded into dumpsites that ultimately seep into our Earth’s waterways and then into our oceans. The world is aware of the plastic problem, but what is looming is the ‘flip-flop’ problem. The mass of discarded flip-flops pile up and block waterways for fresh water and then make their way to our oceans – killing everything in their way.
It is estimated that an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic and synthetic materials (like flip-flops) are floating on every square kilometer of ocean, and that this pollution generates costs of over $8 billion a year – $334 million of that amount is attributed directly to flip-flops. Ocean Sole transforms over 50 tons a year of discarded and lost flip-flops in the ocean and land, and up-cycles them into art, to help to bring attention to this problem globally.
These wonderful animals are playful art pieces, and they have positively impacted many by cleaning up over 1,000 tons of flip-flops from the ocean and waterways in Kenya, as well as providing steady income to over 150 low-income Kenyans.
Ocean Sole contributes over 10% of their revenue to marine conservation programs such as the Ocean Conservancy. Seeds for Kindness adds to that by sending proceeds to our chosen group, SeaLegacy.
While these animals are playful to look at, we do not recommend them as toys, and they are not suitable for children under 3.
"I fell in love with these colorful, whimsical animals and love having them on my desk. They are a wonderful reminder of how important it is to reduce plastic in our oceans and protect marine and terrestrial wildlife. And I never get tired of telling the story of Ocean Sole and all they are doing to get flip flops out of landfills and oceans." - Tigger