Ascott’s Somerset Westview Nairobi (SWN) celebrated its first anniversary by unveiling several pieces of artwork made entirely from recycled flip-flops, crafted by Ocean Sole. The artwork, including a giraffe, a butterfly, and a teddy bear, depicting Ascott’s cubby mascot, serves to raise awareness about the plastic pollution crisis in our water bodies and the threat it poses to humanity amongst SWN’s guests.
Ocean Sole, a social enterprise that upcycles discarded flip-flops found on beaches and waterways in Kenya, created the pieces using 140 pieces of recycled flip-flops. During the anniversary celebrations, SWN also unveiled a unique artwork of Nairobi, the “Green City in the Sun,” painted on clear glass panels in the property’s lobby wall, as part of its new ESG agenda, Ascott Cares, which aims to promote sustainability.
“By showcasing 100% recycled art in the main lobby, we help our guests better understand the plastic waste crisis and be great champions of taking care of the environment to protect the place we all call home,” said Mr. Ashwin Vijayasekar – General Manager, Somerset Westview Nairobi
Adding, “Sustainable travel has gained prominence in recent times as travelers become more socially conscious and aware of their environmental footprint. We are witnessing a returning trend towards family vacations and multigenerational trips, as guests look to travel to reconnect post-pandemic. Against this backdrop, we have refreshed the Somerset brand to meet travelers’ growing expectations for sustainability, while at the same time ensuring they can immerse themselves in a truly inclusive, harmonious experience.”
During the anniversary celebrations, Somerset Westview Nairobi also announced its plans to have smaller beautifully crafted cubbies for kids who stay with them. This initiative is aimed at creating awareness among children on the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability.
As part of the long-term partnership with Ocean Sole, SWN will also organize workshops and take guests to the Ocean Sole production site for team-building activities, that involve cleaning and sorting flip-flops with the help of the artisans. The guests will be taken through the entire process and encouraged to buy Ocean Sole products, as the money is used to pay the artisans involved in the craft and building schools, thus helping the less fortunate in the community.