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The Best Work You May Never See: Droga5 London Sets Sail For Kenya’s Flipflopi Project


Robert Goldrich
Monday, Sep. 17, 2018


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The launch of a Kenyan community-built boat known as the Flipflopi--the first in the world to be made entirely from recycled marine plastic and flip-flops--is being supported with a new, six-minute film created by agency Droga5 London and production house Borderland.

Directed by Simon & Ben of Borderland, the film documents the journey from Kenya’s plastics ban to the creation of the Flipflopi boat, which made its way onto the Indian Ocean on Sept. 15.

The nine-meter sailing vessel has been created from over 10 tons of collected plastic waste. With no precedents to learn from, the Flipflopi project team, led by inspirational Lamu, Kenya-based boat builder Ali Skanda, has had to develop pioneering techniques at every stage in order to craft the various components of the boat. Limiting themselves to only locally available technology and materials, they have collected discarded plastic, shredded it into small pieces, then heated it and remolded it. The resulting plastic parts have been carved by Skanda and his team of traditional dhow boat builders exactly as they would do when working with wood. 

The Flipflopi Project  is calling for a #Plasticrevolution;  its ambition is for a world without single use plastic. To achieve this, it is working to raise awareness of the danger of the single use culture that leads to so much plastic: more than 12 million tons a year being dumped at sea rather than being repurposed or recycled.

Once sea trials have been completed, the Flipflopi will be embarking on a ground breaking 500km expedition from Lamu to Zanzibar in Tanzania. Departing early 2019, the team will be visiting schools, communities and government officials, sharing solutions and changing mindsets along the way. 

David Kolbusz, chief creative officer at Droga5 London, said: “Making this film has been such a special project to work on and we’re proud to be involved with Flipflopi and everything they stand for. The creativity and innovation behind the boat and the incredible craftsmanship of Ali Skanda is nothing short of inspirational.” 

Ben Morison, Founder of the Flipflopi Project, said: “The Flipflopi Project has always been about encouraging change in a positive way, making people smile first and then sharing the very simple message that single-use plastics really don’t make sense. To create the Flipflopi boat we used only locally sourced resources and low-tech solutions, enabling our techniques and ideas to be copied by others without any barriers. We hope people around the globe are inspired by our beautiful multicolored boat and find their own innovative ways to repurpose ‘already-used’ plastics.”


Client Flipflopi Project Agency Droga5 London David Kolbusz, chief creative officer; Steve Howell, executive creative director; Scott Taylor art director; Andy Shrubsole, copywriter; Jacob Wright, strategy director; Josh Sanders, producer. Production Borderland Simon & Ben, directors; Zoe Barlow, exec producer. Editorial/Post Borderland Sound Design Factory Phil Bolland, sound design. Music Raising the Barn, From the Beginning, Distant Echoes, Judy Forrest, Black Silhouette, A Wall of Beauty, composer. Music Supervision Mr Pape John Connon, music supervisor.

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