The world's largest flip flop art exhibition is coming to Vancouver

Jul 20 2019, 1:11 am

An upcoming one-of-a-kind art exhibit is proving that environmental pollution can be transformed into something beautiful, and awe-inspiring. 

Bear (Waste to Wonder)

Bear (Waste to Wonder)

Waste to Wonder will showcase the transformation of flip flops into life-sized animal sculptures, and is taking place in the Grand Court of Metropolis at Metrotown, from August 8 to September 8.

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The Waste to Wonder exhibit consists of five life-size sculptures of Canadian at-risk wildlife — the narwhal, orca, bison, grizzly, and caribou — each of them made from upcycled flip flops. 


Narwhal (Waste to Wonder)

More than 6,500 flip flops in total were used to make the sculptures, requiring more than 2,500 hours of work by more than two dozen artists.

In the past couple of years, several hundred thousand discarded pairs of synthetic-rubber sandals have been found in waterbodies and along shores worldwide. 

These non-biodegradable, and synthetic flip flops contain chemicals that harm humans, animals, and plants. 

Orca (Waste to Wonder)

Orca (Waste to Wonder)

The artists behind these incredible exhibits are part of a Kenya-based social enterprise called Ocean Sole Africa, and they turn flip flop waste into magnificent animal art sculptures.

Ocean Sole Africa handcrafted the Waste to Wonder exhibit, the organization’s largest exhibit in the world to date. 

The goal of Ocean Sole Africa’s projects like Waste to Wonder is to not only create beautiful works of art, but to also promote conversation about environmental issues, as well as provide employment.

Caribou (Waste to Wonder)

Caribou (Waste to Wonder)

During the exhibit, each sculpture will be available for purchase through an online auction, starting at a minimum bid of $5,000.

All proceeds will be donated to Variety – the Children’s Charity.

For more details, visit the auction kiosk at the exhibit, or online.

“Ocean Sole Africa is creating beautiful, important work that entertains people while also encouraging them to think harder about our planet,” said Judy Black, Marketing Director for Metropolis at Metrotown, in a press release.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting their largest exhibit yet. I look forward to this and the other Waste to Wonder activities, and the positive impact it’s sure to have on Metropolis visitors of all ages,” Black continued.

In addition to the exhibit, many special “Waste to Wonder” activities will be taking place in the Grand Court including a selfie station with an iconic Canadian beaver sculpture, artist demo / meet & greet, upcycle bracelet workshops, upcycle Kiehl’s workshop, plastics recycling drives, contest giveaways, and more. 

Waste to Wonder Exhibit 2019

When: August 8 to September 8, 2019

Where:  Metropolis at Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby

Time: Open during regular mall hours

Tickets: Free! 

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