Recycling flip flops and making neato furniture in the process
Dutch designer Diederik Schneemann is doing his best to make a green difference with a line of products made from upcycled rubber flip flops. Surely you have old flip flops lying around. Maybe you’ve even thought: “I’d love to find these flip flops a nice new home.” Well, here’s the answer.
The flip flops are found, gathered, and reclaimed into a variety of new (mostly home interior) products. Schneemann describes his guiding aesthetic:
A good design is defined by its sustainability, the (application of) material, a comprehensible conceptual approach or a strong communicative value.
Where are these flip flops coming from? It’s an amazing story about how interconnected the world is, and how cultures thousands of miles distant can influence each other in a very tangible, physical way. Each year nearly 70,000 pounds of flip flops wash up on the shores of East Africa, carried by ocean currents from China, India, and Southeast Asia. 80% of them are pink or blue. That’s just flip flops… you can imagine the amount of additional flotsam that countries along the western perimeter of the Indian Ocean have to endure.
Schneemann’s process results in a collection of mostly whimsical items, many of them in the default pink & blue of the found flip flops. Visit Studio Schneemann to check out the full range of products available. They have unique lamps, artful containers, small tables, and more. If the collection takes off, there are more designs planned to take advantage of the endless supply of discarded flip flops.
This project hits all the right notes – it creates jobs, cleans up rubbish, and creates new items to marvel at. Artists and design professionals are leading the charge to recycle, upcycle, and re-purpose discarded goods, and major corporations should be taking notes on how to effectively connect similar green projects with consumers.
This is how we save the Earth… one flip flop at a time!