Ocean Sole Africa

Ocean Sole Africa

How Ocean Sole recycles flip-flops to build a better world


When you think of a pair of flip-flops, you’re probably transported to a place of sun, sand, and never-ending summer. Unfortunately, when people don’t properly dispose of them, they’re exceptionally bad for our oceans.


Ocean Sole employees creating colorful animal sculptures from used flip flops
Francis Mutua, artist at Ocean Sole: “I believe that it is important to work for a mission-driven organization that has an impact on the future of our planet.”


Ocean Sole uses 10 percent to 15 percent of its revenue to help with beach cleanups, vocational and educational programs, as well as other conservation efforts. They strive to raise awareness and inspire change to make our world a better and less littered place to live.

Ocean Sole employee collecting used flip flops to reuse it
Ocean Sole Africa CEO Erin Smith: “Ocean Sole Africa is a social enterprise whose mission is to highlight litter by removing flip-flops from our oceans and waterways.”

Ocean Sole, a social enterprise in Kenya, has begun to tackle this pollution problem by turning abandoned flip-flops into vibrant, colorful animal sculptures. They aim to recycle over 1,000,000 flip-flops each year—that’s over 300,000 kilos of plastic … the weight of more than 90 elephants combined! This unique concept also employs nearly 100 locals, simultaneously helping to combat unemployment in a country that has too much of it, while upcycling and cleaning the ocean shores.


Ocean Sole employees presenting a colorful whale made of used flip flops
Lillian Mullupi, coordinator at Ocean Sole: “The impact of marine pollution is monumental; we have the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic being dumped into the sea every minute. This is dangerous, reckless, and disheartening.”