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Flip Flop Safari Fever

by Andrew Williams | August 19, 2015

We have been lucky enough to have quite a few products in the shop which we could genuinely say were "phenomenal." Our Elephant Cement wallets and bags from Cambodia were one of our earliest lines, and are still hugely popular today. Zotter chocolates, recommended to us by a customer, are now a staple part of our range throughout the year. And our perching and origami birds continue to amaze and delight customers. 

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!

Tagged: eighteen rabbit, flip flop art, kenya, lion street, nairobi, ocean sole

Beautiful fair trade jewellery from Kenya

by Andrew Williams | July 28, 2014

We're delighted to be stocking this lovely range of jewellery from the Bombolulu workshop in Mombasa, Kenya. The workshop employs over 160 people, and is a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation.

The workshop was founded in 1969 as a rehabilitation centre, and offers residential housing on site for its workers, who live with a range of different disabilities. The quality of the work they produce is testament to the trainings and skills they are provided with as part of the Bombolulu programme.

  


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Tagged: Bombolulu, eighteen rabbit, fair trade, fairtrade, Kenya, Mombasa