The very act of creating Ocean Sole was to have a positive impact and take responsibility for our environment and community. For some, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is just window dressing but for us it is the very core of our operation.
We work with local communities, clean beaches and waterways, provide employment, develop and distribute an eco product, ultimately to save our oceans and encourage recycling and environmental awareness.
Our product is recycled rubber. To collect it we organise city and beach clean ups. This prevents littering and the poisoning of our oceans, marine life and ultimately humans.
We aim to recycle 400,000 flipflops a year.
We have a recycling hub for the local community, where we organise the collection and recycling of glass, plastic, clothes and tin cans.
• Even the waste from our recycled product is used. For example as flooring for children’s playgrounds.
• We collect rain water to use in our production.
• As our products are made by hand, with simple tools, our energy consumption is very low.
• In our office we use energy saving light bulbs, reusable printer cartridges, and produce very little paper waste.
• Our recycled rubber animals are carvings that do not use wood.
• We buy white polyurethane foam from Nairobi’s Dandora rubbish dump and recycle it into our products.
• We buy and recycle rubber off cuts from shoe companies.
• We buy and recycle used netting from East African Canvas and use it for our packaging.
• We buy recycled magazine beads, brass beads and glass beads from local suppliers, who also share our recycling ethos.
• We use recycled plastic bottles to fill our giant sculptures.
We work with women in remote coastal areas where there is high unemployment. Our operation started in Kiwayu in 1997 and the local women still do piece work for us today.
We create piece work and social awareness in poor areas such as Kibera slum, Ngong and Mombasa. People are paid to bring us rubbish.
At our workshop we employ 40 Kenyans, full time Monday to Friday, who we train in a multitude of skills. We pay paternity and maternity leave, medical bills with 21-26 days annual leave. We provide free lunch.
We educate school children with talks and activities highlighting the benefits of recycling.
We educate adults with tours around our workshop.
Our message of recycling is made global, through our marketing, sales and active promotion of our product.
We donate our products to charitable causes. Recent donations have helped raised funds for; Riding for The Disabled, The Rhino Charge to fund the water towers of Kenya (Aberdare mountain range, Eburru Forest Area and Mountain Kenya), Save The Rhino International and Friends of Dagoretti.
We work alongside Kenya’s David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) – Giraffe Centre and Kazuri Beads – and support their works.
We have set up the Ocean Sole Foundation, a step on from our current work.
• A global drive for supporting the clean-up of oceans with the innovative use of waste products and reducing the use of plastics.
• Better management and protection of the ocean’s resources, ecosystems and habitats.
• 10% of production cost goes towards our foundation.