Flip flops are pure summer fun, but they’re also a major water pollutant, and the Philippines are notorious for discarding vast amounts of them into the Indian Ocean. One Filipino street vendor is combating the problem and supporting his family at the same time by turning the dozens of worn-out flip flops he finds into wickedly cool action figures, and now everyone on the Internet wants to buy them.
Elmer Padilla, father to 2 daughters, lives in Manila but works as a construction worker in the village of Imus, where he has also set up shop with his impressive foam creations. When a friend of Padilla’s, Adrian Bernabe, shared photos of his work on a Facebook group dedicated to Filipino art, he went viral with almost 3 thousand shares. Eventually, the photos reached Reddit, where they received a further 85 thousand upvotes.
Social media users around the world are now begging to know where and how they can buy these fabulous figurines, but Padilla has yet to weigh in on his newfound fame. Scroll down to see them for yourself, and check out similar work by Kenyan art collective Ocean Sole.