It's Tuesday the 16th and we all know what that means. National Panda day has come upon us once again! This year at Ocean Sole, we wanted to tell you a bit about our Solemate project, and the Giant Panda we have made out of 1250 recycled flip flops that is set to travel the world.
Before we get into that, let's talk about Pandas. Gentle giants with distinct black and white markings, Pandas are located solely in the southwest region of China. Wild Pandas consume around 26 to 84 pounds of bamboo a day! According to WWF Pandas have finally made it off the endangered list, however are still very vulnerable. Today there are 1,864 pandas left in the wild.
The giant Panda is China’s national symbol as they represent the remains of ancient animals, known as the “living fossil”. They are divided into two subspecies depending on which region they are found. These two subspecies are known as the Qinling panda and Sichuan panda.
Despite the fact that the Panda is not on the endangered list anymore, they still suffer the impacts of habitat loss due to infrastructure building. And with slow reproduction rates it's up to us to step in and spread awareness about these beautiful and gentle giants.
The Solemate Project by Ocean Sole
The Solemate Project is a multiyear effort to create large-scale flip flop art replicas of vulnerable and endangered species that travel the globe to inspire action through education and awareness to help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts. We are excited about a potential partner who we are working with, and will keep you posted on this!
At Ocean Sole, we have been picking up the millions of flip flops that end up on our Kenyan beaches and waterways every year. We transform the flip flop pollution into beautiful art and believe our endangered and vulnerable species will bring attention to multi-generations about the plight of these species and our Oceans. The idea was sparked when our artisans went to the Nairobi National Park and saw the real animals that they make daily in our workshop. As they listened to the Ranger, our artists were saddened to hear about the extreme conditions of our rhinos, that they were near extinction. With tears in their eyes, they asked so many questions about how this could happen, that is when we knew we needed to act and take our success as artisans to the world and share the message about our endangered species.
If we don't protect China’s wild giant panda they could be extinct by 2050.
Or if you'd like to contact us about partnering or collaborating on the Sole Mate Project, we would LOVE to hear from you! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org