From flipflops to handcrafted marine animals: Ocean Sole

you’re visiting S.E.A. Aquarium during Blue Planet, don’t forget to make a detour to three colourful sculptures of majestic marine creatures located near the Bao Chuan Exhibit.

The Ocean Sole exhibit is next to Baochuan.

These sculptures are made from discarded flip flops by Kenyan organisation Ocean Sole. The flip flops used in the project were collected along the the coastal beach of Mombasa, Kenya.

A total of 10 artisans worked on the these sculptures f0r 2.5 months.

Get to know the marine sculptures:

Manta ray–Kipingu

Manta ray sculpture made from discarded flip flops.

The Manta ray sculpture, Kipingu, was made from 430 flip flops. The name Kipingu means “Manta Ray” in Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya.

Hammerhead shark–Papa

Hammerhead shark sculpture made from discarded flip flops.

The Hammerhead shark sculpture, Papa, was made from 590 flip flops. The name Papa means “shark” in Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya.

Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin–Pomboo

Dolphin sculpture made from discarded flip flops.

The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin sculpture, Pomboo, was made from 480 flip flops. The name Pomboo means “dolphin” in Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya.

Try to go closer to the sculptures and see if you recognise the flip flop material.

Ocean Sole Flip flop material.

Learn more about the organisation that made these sculptures

Pollution in the marine environment is truly a global issue. At S.E.A. Aquarium we are supporting international efforts to help protect the marine environment.

Ocean Sole recycle flip flops that are found littered on beaches and in waterways of Kenya. They have created three bespoke handcrafted marine animals solely for S.E.A. Aquarium in the hope of teaching the world about the threats of marine debris.

As a bizarre and yet very real phenomenon, thousands and thousands of flip flops are washed up onto the East African coast creating an environmental disaster.

Not only spoiling the natural beauty of our beaches and oceans, the rubber soles are swallowed and suffocated on by fish and other animals, they obstruct turtle hatchlings from reaching the sea and are a man-made menace to our fragile ecosystems.

Ocean Sole’s creative team of artisans transform discarded flip flops into colourful masterpieces, which come with an important message about marine conservation. Find out more aboutOcean Sole on their website.

The making of Pomboo.


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