everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Ethical Eco Enviro Elephants

on May 2, 2012
By now, I think you will have gathered that I like quirky stuff and love to give quirky gifts. But the downside is that they are all too often made without care for the people who produce them or the environment around them. And we people who have waaay too much stuff say, “Aww, cute” and then shortly thereafter say, “Aww, landfill”.

But we have to give something to that little kid / colleague / neighbour / friend to mark a special occasion, right? And a card telling them that you bought a chicken for a family in South America instead of a present for them doesn’t always go down too well. So I was excited to find these guys on the very cool Australian site Ethical Gifts.

They are animals made in Africa out of recycled flip flops (or thongs, or jandals). Apparently, this idea started back in 1997, when women and children started to collect all of the rubber shoes washing up on the beaches off the northeast coast of Kenya. They turned them into toys, buoys and cushion stuffing. The FlipFlop Project was born.

In 2005, the UniquEco brand was created to expand on the FlipFlop Project and support the local people to clean up their beaches, recycle the rubber, earn an income, and produce fantastic animal friends (and jewellery, keyrings etc) to share with the world.

You can check out the range of gifts at Ethical Gifts here and read more about the story behind UniquEco and the FlipFlop Project here.
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5 responses to “Ethical Eco Enviro Elephants

  1. I gave LM a bay elephant for Christmas (he kinda’ loves elephants and his early childhood was in Africa). I wish I’d known about these groovy numbers! 🙂

  2. Bugger! – that should read BABY elephant! Fortunately, we have a very large back-yard here in Sydney…:-)

    • Cate says:

      Hahaha, I did think that maybe a ‘bay elephant’ was a particular breed that you could buy in Sydney pet shops – nothing would surprise me! 🙂

  3. The Toy Maker says:

    I am going to buy them for all my friends – thanks Cate. On a similar theme. There are these wonderful creations from another Kate (with a K) from the UK http://www.katessofttoys.co.uk/how-a-plastic-bottle-became-a-soft-toy.html. The thing I love about these is that you can design your own. Imagine Napoleon Dynmite’s delight if he received a cuddly Liger? or you could have a crocroo, a hipporaffe…………..

    • Cate says:

      Thank you…I will check that site out, as any link that promises to reveal “how-a-plastic-bottle-became-a-soft-toy” is too good to miss! There could be several new blog post ideas there, I’m sure… 🙂

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