Last updated: May 08. 2013 7:39AM - 353 Views
Associated Press



In this photo taken Monday, April 29, 2013, carver Jackson Mbatha, 40, poses next to an unfinished large toy giraffe he is making from pieces of discarded flip-flops, in front of a painted workshop wall at the Ocean Sole flip-flop recycling company in Nairobi, Kenya. The company is cleaning the East African country's beaches of used, washed-up flip-flops and the dirty pieces of rubber that were once cruising the Indian Ocean's currents are now being turned into colorful handmade giraffes, elephants and other toy animals. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
In this photo taken Monday, April 29, 2013, carver Jackson Mbatha, 40, poses next to an unfinished large toy giraffe he is making from pieces of discarded flip-flops, in front of a painted workshop wall at the Ocean Sole flip-flop recycling company in Nairobi, Kenya. The company is cleaning the East African country's beaches of used, washed-up flip-flops and the dirty pieces of rubber that were once cruising the Indian Ocean's currents are now being turned into colorful handmade giraffes, elephants and other toy animals. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
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(AP) The colorful handmade giraffes, elephants and warthogs made in a Nairobi workshop were once only dirty pieces of rubber cruising the Indian Ocean's currents.


Kenya's Ocean Sole sandal recycling company is cleaning the East African country's beaches of used, washed-up flip-flops.


Workers in Nairobi make about 100 different products from the discarded flip-flops. In 2008 the company shipped an 18-foot giraffe to Rome for display during a fashion week.


Company founder Julie Church says the goal of her company is to create products that people want to buy, then make them interested in the back-story.


Workers wash the flip-flops, many of which have been repaired several times. Artisans then glue together the various colors, carve the products, sand and rewash them.


Associated Press
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