This Waste to Wonder post is in partnership with Metropolis At Metrotown. All opinions expressed are 100% my own
There is no secret that the place we call home is suffering due to an overwhelming amount of single-use plastic items being disposed of. But did you know that even those rubber flip flops many of us sport in the summer are a part of the problem too? Waste to Wonder is a one of a kind art exhibit which transforms flip flop pollution into life-size animal sculpture.
The goal of the Waste to Wonder exhibit is to get people thinking and talking. Can an environmental hazard be transformed into something positive? Even yet, can it be something beautiful? When you see this awe-inspiring art exhibit displayed at Metropolis at Metrotown from August 8th to September 8th, you will agree the answer is yes!
What is Waste To Wonder you ask?
The Waste to Wonder exhibit consists of five life-size sculptures of Canadian at-risk wildlife (the narwhal, orca, bison, grizzly, and caribou). In total, more than 6,500 flip flops were used to make these beautiful sculptures which required 2,500+ hours of work by more than two dozen talented artists.
But why flip flops you ask? In recent years, hundreds of thousands of discarded pairs of these synthetic-rubber sandals have been found in our bodies of water and along our shorelines. We’ve seen the animals that are affected by this but when does it stop?
Often these flip flops are made with non-recyclable material and contain chemicals that are harmful to humans, animals, and plants. So how do we encourage conversations about discontinuing creation and use of these harmful products? We make art, we create these beautiful sculpture to get people talking! When people talk, messages spread and then change can begin!
If you remember our earlier blog post about the Douglas Copeland exhibit at The Vancouver Aquarium, this was one of the girls first eye-opening lesson learning experiences. This visual lesson invoked conversations in our own home about what we can do to reduce our single-use plastic use. From reusable straws to cotton produce bags, to reusable shopping bags and even going as far as reducing our paper towel use.
“Waste to Wonder”, the largest exhibit in the world of flip flop art, opens at Metropolis at Metrotown, August 8 – September 8
Ocean Sole Africa is a Kenya-based social enterprise that “upcycles” flip-flop waste and turns it into animal art sculptures. One by one, Ocean Sole Africa handcrafted this custom Waste to Wonder exhibit, the organization’s largest exhibit in the world to date. Not only does Ocean Sole Africa create beautiful works of art, but they also promote conversation about environmental issues, as well as provide employment.
During the month-long exhibit at Metropolis at Metrotown, each sculpture is available for purchase through an online auction (minimum bid: $5,000+). All proceeds will be donated to Variety – the Children’s Charity.
In addition to the exhibit, there are many special Waste to Wonder activities that will be taking place in the Grand Court. From a selfie station with an iconic Canadian beaver sculpture to an artist demo/meet & greet, there are so many fun things planned throughout the month.
Additional workshops include an upcycle bracelet workshop, an upcycle Kiehl’s workshop, plastics recycling drives, contest giveaways, and so much more. Be sure to head over to the Metropolis website for more details! Don’t forget to sign up early as these workshops fill up fast!
About those contests, I mentioned, don’t forget to head over to Metropolis at Metrotown and check out the exhibit for yourself. Guess how many flip flops were used to create the whale and enter to win a $1000 Shopping Spree to Metropolis at Metrotown.
Better your chances by sharing your photos on Instagram and use the hashtag #METWastetoWonder and tag @metropolisatmet for your chance to win a weekly prize package or a $500 Metropolis Gift Card.
Did you know that those Rubber Flip Flops were so bad for the environment? Tell us below what you were for summer footwear!