Nothing could have prepared us for the flip flop animals though.
Almost exactly a year ago, I met a customer here in Hay on Wye who had been working for an NGO in Kenya. She mentioned a project called Ocean Sole, who took discarded flip flops and turned them in to pieces of art. Intrigued, we checked out the website and sent a few emails. A month or so later our first (tiny!) batch of flip flop animals arrived. Slowly but surely we realised we had a phenomenon on our hands!
Since we moved to Lion Street the flip flop fever has only intensified. Our cool window display has attracted a lot of attention, and we've added new designs such as keyrings to the range.
Last week I met a customer who had recently returned from Kenya where they had visited Ocean Sole. He said the most incredible sight was the enormous mound of flip flops waiting to be processed by the workers. This project really is having an incredible impact, not just in cleaning up the environment but also providing much needed employment in Nairobi. Here are some pictures, with huge thanks to Roger Murray-Leach for sending them to us. We look forward to working with Ocean Sole for many years to come!