On Wednesdays, we look at artist/designer statements or About pages and discuss the vocabulary they use to describe their work. Today we’ll look at the About page of Ocean Sole, a Kenyan green art/eco-art company that creates sculptures out of old flip-flops.

Here is the text from their About page, in italics.

Since 2005, we have positively impacted many by (1) cleaning up over 1,000 tonnes of flip-flops from the Ocean and waterways in Kenya, (2) providing steady income to over 150 low-income Kenyans in our company and supply-chain, and (3) contributing over 10% of our revenue to marine conservation programmes.

We have lofty goals at Ocean Sole. Our actions must make a difference to the plight of our Oceans. Our ethos is to give back what we earn to change the lives of many through education, income and meals. Our energy is focused on delivering fun products so humans don’t forget our marine life.

We make fun art so people, companies and charities remember that the Ocean needs our help. Our pieces represent the trash found in the oceans and waterways that are killing human and marine life in their journey from the dumps to the beaches.

Now my comments:

In the first paragraph, we learn about the ways this company has created positive change with their artwork. In the second, they share their goals and motivations. In the third paragraph, we learn about the meaning of the pieces they create. These are all good topics to cover on an About page. This site also explains the process and techniques they use to create their work in detail, which is another good idea. However, they do it on a separate page, and in the video above.

Now let’s look at the vocabulary they use. First, we see the word positively, which in this situation means “in a good way,” because impact can be used to describe something positive or negative. Next, we see the phrasal verb cleaning up, which simply means cleaning. The up doesn’t mean anything. I would guess people use this phrase because “to pick something up” means to lift things off of the floor or ground and put them somewhere else. Picking up is another phrasal verb and is often a part of cleaning, so telling someone to pick up their room means to clean their room.

We also see the word tonnes, and that’s a little confusing to me since I’m an American. In the U.S., a ton is 2,000 pounds, but outside the U.S., a tonne, also known as a metric ton, is 1,000 kilograms. Either way, it’s a lot of flip-flops, which are a kind of sandal. This name comes from the sound they make when you walk in them. After that, we see providing, which means making or getting something that is needed. Steady is something that doesn’t stop or move, and income is the money a person makes at work. So, providing steady income means this company is giving money to people for their work, and it doesn’t stop or change.

Next, we see low-income, which means not making a lot of money, and Kenyans, which are people from Kenya. Then, supply-chain, which is the system of people, information, and resources needed to move a product or service from supplier to customer. So, they are saying that the people who work in their company and supply chain might not have steady jobs without this company’s work. Contributing means giving, and revenue is the money a business makes.  Marine conservation programmes are programs that protect (conservation) life or animals from the ocean (marine). So, the company gives 10% of the money it makes to protect ocean life. Finally, in the second paragraph, we see the word plight, which means a very bad situation.

English is spoken and written in many ways all over the world. Different groups of people use different words and phrases that can be hard for an outsider to understand. A good language coach can help you to choose the best words and phrases to match your clients or audience and sound professional.

At Artglish, we help artists and designers to write a statement or About page that best describes their work. We focus on choosing the best vocabulary and language to help you share your work with others. If you want to learn more, click here to join The Studio and try some free ways to improve your English, or check out our Lessons page to learn how Artglish can help you succeed.

I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today. They are in bold. If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words. You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.

To see the Ocean Sole website, click the link below:

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