While flip-flops are casual, cute, fashionable beachwear, they're also the only shoes owned by over 3 billion people in emerging warm-climate markets. These flip-flops get worn for years, repaired many times, and finally discarded into dumpsites that ultimately seep into our Earth’s waterways and oceans. The world is aware of the plastic problem, but what is looming is the ‘flip-flop’ problem. Masses of discarded flip-flops pile up and block waterways for fresh water and then make their way to our oceans, causing the destruction of fragile marine ecosystems and the widespread death of sealife.
It's 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 which is attributed directly to flip-flops. Ocean Sole transforms over 50 tons a year of discarded flip-flops in the ocean and on land, upcycling them into art to help raise awareness of the problem globally.
These wonderful animals are playful art pieces, and they have positively impacted many by cleaning up over a thousand 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. Changing Tides adds to that by sending further proceeds from these sales to Ocean Conservancy.
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