An Artist Transforms Flip-Flops Into Masterpieces to Save the Ocean, and We’re Inspired

4 years ago

Francis Mutua is a flip-flop artist from Nairobi and has just one goal: to save the over-polluted ocean piece by piece through his art. But in this project, he’s not alone. He is a member of a bigger family named Ocean Sole that aims to clean the Earth and transform the unknown flip-flop problem into one piece of art at a time.

All of us at Bright Side not only liked his works of art, which are truly day-makers, we also admire the purpose of this project and we are excited to tell you more about flip-flop art. At the end of the article, a cool bonus is waiting for you.

Among the billion tons of plastic waste that has been thrown in the ocean, a large portion of it is made up of flip-flops.

Aside from polluting the sea and destroying marine life, flip-flops dumped in the ocean block waterways that provide clean water to communities and are used for watering crops.

Francis Mutua and Ocean Sole recycle over 74 tons of lost flip-flops per year, transforming them into stunning and bright animals of all sizes.

In 2017 the team recycled over 500,000 flip-flops.

According to Francis, they can create up to 8 animals per day and most of them are sold abroad.

Francis and the other flip-flop artists choose to recreate mammals and marine creatures to raise awareness of this threating environmental situation.

Ocean lovers from all around the world support the Ocean Sole project and it was even featured in Vogue magazine.

Hoping to draw the world’s attention to this unknown problem, Francis Mutua never fails to mention “We have to save the world!”

The first step is collecting the lost flip-flops from the seashore and the surface of the sea.

Then they need to be washed and cleaned up for the carving process to start.

Using sanding and smoothing tools, the glued together piles of old flip-flops are ready to be used as an art material.

Every step is done manually by the artist; no machinery is used.

Francis mentions that he truly loves his job because he’s not just making something beautiful out of waste, but he plays a direct part in saving of the Earth as well, and he is proud of himself.

In memory of Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino that died at the age of 45, the Ocean Sole team created a monument.

Bonus: The making of flip-flop artwork

When we are talking about saving the environment, every move counts. And we believe that art is all about making a difference. What do you think? Let us know which was your favorite flip-flop animal in the comments below.

Preview photo credit Ocean Sole / facebook


Recycling is one of the greatest ways art can be part of our lives. Those people out there making a difference brought a smile on my face :)

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