Earth Day 2019

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We are amidst the largest period of species extinction in the last 60 million years. Shocking, in the last 50 years alone, the populations of all mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have fallen by an average of 60%…

With today being Earth Day, I thought I might talk a little more about some of my long legged friends back in Kenya. What many people don’t know, is that the wild animals living around the Safari Collection’s famous Giraffe Manor hotel are part of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife’s vital breeding programme for the Rothschild Giraffe, one of the three sub-species of giraffe found in Kenya. All nine sub-species of giraffe across Africa are fighting a ‘silent extinction,’ being overshadowed in the press by other endangered animals. There are approx 500,000 wild elephant left in Africa for instance, whilst there are only 90,000 giraffe!!!! I was so shocked and saddened to hear this statistic. Similar to elephant, giraffe populations have suffered dramatically from illegal hunting, habitat loss and human/wildlife conflict, and the Rothschild, in particular, have really struggled.

However, due in big part to the amazing work of the AFEW, the Rothschild population in Kenya has increased from 80 to 800 individuals in the last 30 years, with 50 of those giraffe being the babies of breeding pairs reintroduced back into the wild from the Manor’s neighbouring Giraffe Centre. My heart hurts at the thought of a world without these beautiful long lashed and even longer legged giants, and the moments spent with them are never lost on me

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“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make...” Dr. Jane Goodall.

In my opinion, every damn day should be Earth Day... 🌍 #ExtinctionIsForever

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UPDATE: TLCxAuree: The Tembo Collection

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Last week, on World Elephant Day, Auree Jewellery and I celebrated reaching quite an exciting and wonderfully unexpected milestone...

Influenced by my Kenyan roots, the seven Masai bead inspired Tembo Charity Bracelets from my collaboration with Auree Jewellery have collectively raised £25,000 (!!!) which has been donated to For Rangers, with a giant bow on it.

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I’m so proud that 100% of the profits from our collection went towards supporting the brave heroes across Africa risking their lives every day to protect our endangered wildlife, and so grateful to have this platform (my own ‘digital soapbox!’) to share the causes I feel so passionately about.  

Thank you to everyone who bought one (or two, or three...) of the Satao, Pembe or Shina bracelets… You will have directly contributed towards the fight against elephant poaching, and the extinction of this iconic, important animal. 

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Buy To Give:  Head to Auree Jewellery to secure one of the last few bracelets... 

#TLCxAuree

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Loewe x Elephant Crises Fund

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Spanish fashion house Loewe has teamed up with Knot On My Planet's global ambassador Doutzen Kroes and Save The Elephants in the fight against the ivory trade, a cause very close to my heart.

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100% of the profits from the Loewe's limited-edition Mini Elephant Bag (above), adorned with handcrafted beadwork by the fabulously skilled mamas from the Samburu Warrior Trust based at Kenya’s Ol Malo (one of my favourite places to stay on earth), will be donated to the Elephant Crises Fund and the conservation initiatives they support. 

Left:  During one of my beautiful stays at Ol Malo, a family ranch and game sanctuary in Laikipia, the heartland of the Samburu tribe.  Whilst there the mamas colourfully beaded my ankles. This specialised craft has given the female elders a viable workflow to help sustain their families.

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Did you know that elephants are deeply emotional and intelligent animals with strong family bonds that last their 70-year lifespans? Or that without elephants, natural ecosystems can quickly fall into disrepair, creating further food insecurity for local human communities?  Trust me, with a wild elephant killed every 15 minutes across Africa, a designer handbag has never felt like more of a crucial investment.  Shop HERE

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TLCxAuree: The Tembo Collection

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. 

 

Above:  The Shina, Swahili for Trunk, features an 18ct rose gold (£60.00), an 18ct gold (£55.00) or sterling silver (£50.00) vermeil textured polo-shaped disc, inspired by traditional Maasai bead jewellery, in addition to a little charm tusk at the clasp as a reminder of the important cause.

Above:  The Pembe, Swahili for Tusk, features an 18ct rose gold (£60.00), an 18ct gold (£55.00) or sterling silver (£50.00) vermeil textured solid disc, which is able to be engraved on the reverse polished side. 

Photography: Eva K. Salvi 

Hair:  Clo and Flo

Make Up: Charlotte Cowen