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One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

A partnership between Al-Rayan International School in Ghana and Upcycled G-Soles
By Oorna Mukherjee
One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

ARIS students promote G-Soles by the company Gutta Soles—handmade African couture footwear that have been upcycled (photo: ARIS).
Last year, Al-Rayan International School ARIS took on the Flight 7 Project, bringing a recycled plane art installation to campus along with its creator, Nana Anoff. In collaboration with other schools, our students spread the message of recycling and creativity in all avenues. After a few months, Flight 7 took off for another IB World School and continues to circumnavigate the globe.
This year, our community took up a new initiative: The Upcycled by G-Soles Project. G-Soles are handmade African couture footwear that have been upcycled. GUTTA Soles, the company behind this product, also has a higher-end line that upcycles rubber tires that would otherwise be dumped or burned. The mission of the company is to design shoes durable enough for Ghana’s surface conditions. As a community-based organization, the model supports local artists as well. Win-win!
In the spirit of creativity and following a series of ARIS Cares projects that have invested in “green” or sustainable projects, ARIS has partnered with G-Soles. The regulation black shoes that have long been a part of our uniform can now be swapped out for G-Soles. Even facilitators and educational leaders can purchase these shoes, as they are quite fashionable. One exciting feature of the G-Soles project is customization; customers can unleash their creativity in designing their own footwear.
Soon, ARIS will start holding workshops in collaboration with our Creative Arts department, inviting students to take a more hands-on approach. The G-Soles project will also provide opportunities to explore various social entrepreneurship models, especially considering that ARIS is now the first IB-Continuum school to get Candidacy Status for the IB Career-related Programme (IBCP).
Sustainability is the name of the 21st-century game. ARIS is looking to explore all possible avenues within our reach, and educate the next generations to be more aware, responsible, and forthright in their advocacy projects.
Oorna Mukherjee, Communications Assistant, received the ARIS Cares Grant to conduct a case-study on the “Paradigm Shift towards Inclusive Education” at ARIS.

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