Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
The shores of 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. A remarkable initiative by a Kenyan organisation UniquEco,has been designed not only to clean up the environment by using this waste but also to provide employment opportunities to the poor communities hardest hit by this environmental degradation.So far UniquEco has collected over 70 tonnes of this waste.

UniquEco works with local Kenyan people and recycles the rubber thongs. The 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 skillfully hand carve the blocks into carefully crafted animals, transforming waste into sculptures of amazing humour and beauty.It is hard to believe that a simple rubber thong can be transformed from environmentally damaging waste into eye-catching glamour using only human creativity.

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. 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
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 spotlighted UniquEcos innovative work.

NATURAL HOME MAGAZINE http://www.naturalhomemagazine.com/leafy-greens/uniqueco.aspx

More Info

DOCUMENTARY http://www.filmclick.com/index.php?section=film.index&filmid=2651222722098 Showing the impact of the pollution on Kenyas shoreline and examining this remarkable project


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Contact Profile

Ethical Gifts

Ethical Gifts in an online retailer and importer that builds partnerships with artists, craftspeople, suppliers, and businesses who create products that promote a healthy environment, social justice and sustainable living
For more information and to view these whimsical recycled rubber sculptures online
or call 0353415789

Beth Chesler
P: 0353415789
W: www.ethicalgifts.net.au


recycled art eco friendly products, fair Tarde artisans, Fair Trade Crafts, environmentally friendly products,



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