Thursday, May 6th, 2010
The shores of the Indian Ocean in eastern Africa are littered with debris from as far away as China, Japan,and Malaysia. Thousands of brightly coloured rubber thong pieces wash ashore daily not only causing an eyesore along the coastlines but endangering the marine eco-system. An initiative by a Kenyan organisation,UniquEco, is designed to clean up the environment by using this waste while also providing employment opportunities to the poor communities hardest hit by this environmental degradation.

UniquEco works with local people to recycle the rubber thongs. Local woman and children comb the shores to collect the indestructible pieces of rubber, artisans and sculptors in the villages glue the pieces together into multicolored blocks then hand carve the blocks into carefully crafted animals, transforming waste into sculptures of amazing humour and beauty.

These ingeniously crafted sculptures are a perfect example of how purchasing power can help preserve the environment while at the same time providing employment opportunities to an inspired community half a world away. And they have a unique and exciting piece of art which they will enjoy for years to come! The pieces are imported by Ethical Gifts, a fair trade company that works with artisan groups from around the world.

Press Coverage

• The UniquEco Champali Animal Sculptures have already gained international attention being featured in the summer 2008 issue of O at Home, Oprah's popular home decor quarterly magazine

Finalists in the BBC World Challenge 2008

• The NY Times have reported on the severe impact that discarded thongs have on the environment and spotlighted UniquEcos innovative work.

• a documentary showing the impact of the pollution on Kenyas shoreline and examines this remarkable project that creates art out of trash

. For more information and to view these fantastic whimsical recycled rubber sculptures online
or call 0353415789

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Ethical Gifts

Ethical Gifts in an online retailer and importer that strives to build partnerships with artists, craftspeople, suppliers, and businesses who create products that promote a healthy environment, social justice and sustainable living
Beth Chesler
P: 0353415789


Fair Trade craft, sustainable living,eco friendly products, new eco friendly products, green homeware, recycled products, fair trade craft, African art, , handmade eco friendly,



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