After one crazy week I FINALLY have time to share on TLC what I’ve been up to for the last few months… I have collaborated with Auree Jewellery to design The Tembo Collection. Influenced by my Kenyan roots, the seven Masai bead inspired bracelets (£50.00-£140.00) will hopefully raise both awareness and funds for the rangers on the front line of the battle to save Africa's elephants, a cause very close to my heart.
I'm hugely proud to say that 100% of all the profits from this collection will be donated to For Rangers, a campaign in conjunction with Tusk. By buying and wearing the Satao, Pembe and Shina bracelets, you will directly be helping the fight against elephant poaching, and the extinction of this iconic animal.
Above: With Amelia Carmichael, Founder of Auree Jewellery
Elephants are so special. Having been raised in Kenya (where my grandparents moved to in the 1920’s) I’ve been beyond lucky to have spent so much time amongst them, witnessing their beauty in the wild from an early age (when I insisted it was Kelly the Elephant, not Nellie…) Elephants share the same emotions and cognitive behaviour as humans and are capable of deep grief for their lost ones - you can see this most heart-breakingly in the trauma a baby experiences after losing its mother. They feel joy, empathy and are widely praised for their intelligence and memory.
Not only do communities around Africa depend on elephants for an income through sustainable tourism, as keystone species, the whole African ecosystem depends on their survival. From uprooting trees to feed (clearing canopies in their wake and leaving grass to thrive for plain game - zebra, wildebeest, etc - to feed on, which in turn attracts predators), from their footprints providing water bowls for smaller animals and dispersing plant seeds far and wide through their dung, Africa and all it’s inhabitants, NEED their elephants.
When I was born in the 1980’s there was around one million elephant across Africa… Now there are only 350,000. This estimate, one far less than expected is from the Great Elephant Census completed a few months ago, showed that poachers are killing elephants at a far quicker pace than they are able to reproduce - and they're not just killing them by the way, they're brutally bloody butchering them. That’s 30,000 elephant slaughtered a year... That’s 90 a day… That’s 1 every 15 minutes. At this rate, there will be no elephants left in the African wild by 2025.
This is a war. There are many ways it is currently being fought, and one of them, and arguably the most important yet thankless one, is by the men on the ground, risking their lives every day to protect Africa’s most endangered wildlife.
It takes a unique type of individual to perform the tasks expected of a ranger in what are often extreme conditions and over 1000 rangers have been killed in the line of duty since 2003.
For Rangers aim to raise funds to ensure they are highly trained, fully equipped, well paid, incentivized and utterly respected.
For Rangers was started by friends of mine in Kenya, a campaign in conjunction with Tusk. They are a dedicated group of individuals, with no overheads or running costs, who raise money for the welfare of rangers on the frontline of this battle to save elephants by undertaking insane feats to help raise money to support them; Last year, a group completed The Marathon de Sables across the Sahara Desert and this year, some took on ‘The Beyond The Ultimate’ Jungle Run in Peru. Amidst other challenges, over $120,000 has been raised to date. Being more one for accessorising than exercising, I’ve made bracelets...!
I really wanted to create unfussy yet elegant, wear all day and through the night, stackable, bracelets, and in the tradition of Auree Jewellery, ones you can wear at the fanciest of parties, but also on the dustiest of travels. Both Amelia and I agreed to donate 100% of all profits from this collaboration to the campaign, which is unusual, but given the cause, we felt it was pretty damn vital.
By buying and wearing a Tembo bracelet you don’t only get to own a beautiful, tactile piece of jewellery, you are helping the fight against Elephant poaching. Guilt-free shopping!
Above: The beautiful Satao (£140.00) is a solid 9ct three Gold bracelet named after one of Kenya’s largest and most famous elephants, killed by poachers in 2014. The polished reverse of the textured disc can be engraved with an initial, name or date to make it unique to you.