A Letter From Our Chief Solemate - Our 2021 Year In Review!
With 2021 finally coming to an end, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support. While I can only imagine the trials and tribulations that this year has bought for all of us, you still managed to find a way to support us by buying our art or donating to our charitable causes. Which means the world to us.
Covid posed a number of challenges for businesses, with lockdowns and restrictions making it hard for any of us to function, we luckily managed to keep ticking on. We kept feeding our employees and maintained the welfare program for their children’s school fees and hospital bills.
However, it has not been all gloom and doom for Ocean Sole, this year we saw one of our biggest collaborations, with the French fashion designer, Chloé. For two months, our whole workshop focused solely on creating the most incredible “wedges” for them and while it was stressful at times, we managed to pull it off. Most importantly, this collaboration allowed us to bring back our full team of artisans.
Alongside this, we had a visit from ITV News, who shared our story on prime time TV in the UK and overnight we tugged on the heartstrings of so many Brits who had never heard of us. This was an incredible week for us at Ocean Sole and we made so many new Solemates and supporters.
In May we launched our charity, The SoleMate Project, an ambitious project that has paid off. In the coming years, we aim to create over 200 large-scale replicas of endangered and vulnerable species in partnership with global charities that are already working so hard to protect them. Through The SoleMate Project, we found a home for our Sudan Masterpiece and have been able to donate over $5,000 to Ol Pejeta, with who we have been working closely for years.
In Kilifi, our coastal HQ, Ocean Sole’s beach clean team which is made up of 20 ladies has been working tirelessly to keep Kenya’s coast spotless. We accomplished a whopping 31 beach clean-ups over a number of different beaches and collected a total of 20943.91 lbs of trash.
- We have 88 artisans back in the workshop, bringing our Nairobi HQ up to a team of 100 people
- We have hired 3 new employees in our USA office
- We had zero covid cases throughout the whole year and ran a vaccination program for our employees
- Our collaboration with Chloe was featured in The New York Times, Vogue, The Guardian, I-D, and many more!
- We shipped a container of flip flop art to our Solemates in Benelux, Nic & Mic which included a 4m Giraffe!
- We doubled the number of wholesalers we work with in the US
- We traveled to many new places in Florida doing events including Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Amelia Island, and Tampa
- We sold 31,819 products worldwide, shipped out of our Kenya, US, and UK warehouses
- We Recycled half a million flip flops
- We Recycled 4,000 pounds of styrofoam