Sole Sculpture: Toys Fashioned from Shoes

Carver Daniel Lekalau, 26, uses scissors to trim the mane of a toy lion he is making from pieces of discarded flip-flops, at the Ocean Sole flip-flop recycling company in Nairobi, Kenya. The company is cleaning the East African country’s beaches of used, washed-up flip-flops and the dirty pieces of rubber that were once cruising the Indian Ocean’s currents are now being turned into colorful handmade giraffes, elephants and other toy animals. (Photo by Ben Curtis/AP Photo)

Machinist Benedict Ndambuki uses a lathe to smooth off the rough edges of a toy elephant made from pieces of discarded flip-flops. (Photo by Ben Curtis/AP Photo)

Jackson Mbatha uses a knife to carve part of the neck of a large giraffe he is making from pieces of discarded flip-flops. (Photo by Ben Curtis/AP Photo)

Carver Jackson Mbatha, 40, poses next to a an unfinished large toy giraffe he is making from pieces of discarded flip-flops, in front of a painted workshop wall. (Ben Curtis/AP Photo)

Finished toy animals made from pieces of discarded flip-flops are laid out in rows to dry in the sun, having just been washed. (Photo by Ben Curtis/AP Photo)

A pile of discarded flip-flops sits in a crate ready to be washed, sorted, and carved into toy animals. (Photo by Ben Curtis/AP Photo)

Worker Jacqueline Achien washes discarded flip-flops in a bucket prior to them being sorted and carved into toy animals. (Photo by Ben Curtis/AP Photo)

A worker washes and scrubs discarded flip-flops prior to them being sorted and carved into toy animals. (Photo by Ben Curtis/AP Photo)

Finished toy animals made from pieces of discarded flip-flops are laid out in rows to dry in the sun, having just been washed. (Photo by Ben Curtis/AP Photo)

A female worker washes some finished toy animals made from pieces of discarded flip-flops in a bucket. (Photo by Ben Curtis/AP Photo)

Company owner and marine conservationist Julie Church poses for a photograph on a pile of pieces of discarded flip-flops used in a children’s play area. (Photo by Ben Curtis/AP Photo)

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