World Wildlife Day 2019: #DoOneThingToday

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Today is World Wildlife Day, time to reflect upon the amazing and beautiful creatures we share this planet with, and that we must unite together to protect. Global populations of mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians having fallen by 60% in the last 50 years! If there was a 60% decline in the human population, it would be the equivalent of emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceana... That is what our species has done - and within one generation!!

The challenges that our wildlife is facing are often large and complex, and it’s normal to feel personally powerless. However, small actions add up to a much larger solution – making the difference between a species surviving or disappearing forever... With that in mind, whether it’s donating to conservation projects and supporting those on the front line (I recommend Local Ocean Conservation, For Rangers, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, WWF UK and Tusk), spending time learning more about how the everyday items you consume may be affecting the environment and it’s inhabitants, or be it volunteering or spreading awareness, try and #DoOneThingToday to make a difference and help wildlife conservation!

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Wearing: Wyse London’s ‘Conservation Cashmere’ which saw 100% of its profits donated to The Aspinall Foundation’s #BackToTheWild conservation projects. Over the past few years the foundation has released 8 black rhino, 49 Javan langurs, 9 Javan gibbon, 11 European bison and over 60 western lowland gorillas back to their natural habitat, with many more releases to come this year.

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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Uzma Bozai's Africa Collection (Donating 10% to For Rangers)

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I’m always one for mixing a casual tee with something smarter, and the minute it gets chillier the tee is replaced with a sweatshirt. Never out of style, and always comfortable (not something regularly associated with fashion, let’s be honest!) the sweatshirt is a great way to dress down and bring a little casual-cool to your favourite pair of velvet or leather trousers, or maxi and pencil skirts.  I was therefore, thrilled to discover Uzma Bozai’s namesake brand, my now go-to for colourful, bold and intricately embellished sweatshirts. 

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This season, Uzma Bozai have released a collection of sweatshirts inspired by Kenya’s beautiful Masai Mara, featuring hand-beaded tribal art, wild animals and statement slogans derived from African proverbs.  Not only is the Africa Collection ultra wearable and all things hella cool cat, but after learning about For Rangers and their incredible work through following me on Instagram, Uzma Bozai will be donating 10% from each Africa sweatshirt to the cause until Christmas. 

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I have supported For Rangers, a campaign in conjunction with Tusk, all year with Auree Jewellery by donating to them the profits of our Tembo Bracelet collaboration

The project was started by friends of mine back in Kenya, 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.  Over the last two years, the group have completed, amongst many others, the 'Marathon de Sables' across the Sahara Desert, the ‘Beyond The Ultimate’ Jungle Run in Peru, and last week, the ‘Desert Ultra’ across 250km of Namibia. Legends, or what?! 

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Please consider buying a sweatshirt or bracelet this Christmas, and supporting For Rangers and the brave heroes on the front line of the battle to save Africa's endangered wildlife.

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Read my interview with Uzma Bozai HERE

Photography: Frances Davison

Hair: Taylor Taylor London

A #TLCxAuree interview with The London Chatter

The team at Auree recently interviewed me about our Tembo Collection collaboration in support of For Rangers, and why it was a cause so close to my heart.  I thought I would also share the answers with you here on TLC…  

‘We are excited to be collaborating with Kelly Eastwood on our first charity collection. As major advocates of travel, flair and colour – we’ve long been fans of The London Chatter, which is why its been a delight to create The Tembo Collection to raise money and awareness in the fight against Elephant poaching.  So a second first for The Auree Journal, we thought a good chance for a cuppa and a Q+A.  Move over Parky...' 

What was it like to grow up in Africa and how has it influenced you?

It was really magical; the animals, the epic landscapes, the beautiful beaches, the amazing mix of cultures. From an early age I was always aware of ‘the bigger picture’ and as such, however exciting and frivolous the whirlwind I sometimes find myself in, I always feel pretty grounded.

Tell us how the collaboration with Auree came about?

Having worn a personalised Auree bracelet rather religiously for about a year before finally meeting Amelia, we decided to meet for breakfast so I could learn more about the brand. It became apparent we both wanted to do a charity collection, and over avocado and eggs we not only decided to collaborate, but had already started sketching designs before the bill had even arrived. Amelia was very supportive over my plea to support the conservation efforts for elephants in Africa, a huge passion of mine. We agreed that neither myself or Auree would make a bean out of the collaboration, with all profits going directly to For Rangers, a wonderful campaign started by friends of mine back home.

How did your Kenyan roots inspire the Tembo collection?

Since I was a child, I’ve always been absolutely in awe of elephants; rather than Nellie the Elephant it was Kelly the Elephant!  As well as going on safari regularly, I would frequently visit the orphaned ele’s at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust near where I grew up in Nairobi, which allowed me from an early age to be acutely aware of the heartbreaking effects of poaching. As I’ve got older, many of my friends now work in conservation, and I’ve learnt so much more through them.

I love Maasai beads and the design of our bracelets were inspired by the single white Maasai bead bracelet I usually wear. The beads are so synonymous with the tribal, nomadic cultures back in Kenya, that it seemed an obvious element to incorporate into the jewellery, through the textured circular bead effect. I also now have permanent Maasai beading around my ankles, put on by the Samburu mamas at Ol Malo, a family-run ranch in Laikipia, which I regularly flaunted at London Fashion Week – paired with some good old Jimmy Choos naturally!

You are a frequent wildlife campaigner, what attracts you most about the important work For Rangers and Tusk carry out?

I think it’s the urgency, and the respect. Make no mistake, this is ultimately a war – a battle to save some of the most iconic wildlife before it’s too late, and it’s the rangers who are on the front line of this fight, daily risking their lives for these animals.  For this reason, they deserve our recognition and support. Earlier this year I visited Kenya’s beautiful Lewa conservancy, where I saw Edward Ndiritu (who was awarded with Tusk’s inaugural Wildlife Ranger Award, presented by Prince William in 2015) and his team awarded with silver pins of honor for their outstanding work, and the pride was tangible. 

For Rangers is a really small, grass roots campaign, with no overhead costs. It’s headed by passionate, knowledgeable people who have taken on extraordinary challenges to raise both money and awareness (including the Marathon de Sable and the Peruvian Jungle Run). Given that I’m hardly renowned for my athleticism (I’ve not moved quicker than a strut since the mid-90’s), I thought I would be better suited to help the cause accessorising not exercising…!

What has been your most memorable experience in Africa?

I’m having a stream of flashbacks of both the most exhilarating and also peaceful moments. Aside from my sister’s week long beach wedding near our home, and regularly visiting the Giraffe Manor’s endangered Rothschild giraffe after school when I was young, I would say anytime I’ve been lucky enough to go on safari. Watching a sensational African sunset, G&T in hand (obviously), with that buzz of wildlife around you, is beyond humbling, and for me, completely calming

What are your little black book entries and insider advice for anyone looking to visit Kenya?
 

in Nairobi. If you’re not staying as a guest at this beautiful house, I would definitely try and book in advance to have afternoon tea there amongst the endangered Rothschild giraffe that live at the sanctuary.  I would obviously recommend you go on safari to enjoy the exceptional wildlife we’re so desperately trying to preserve, and Richard’s Camp in the Maasai Mara is really great fun. For unforgettable experiences with the nomadic Samburu communities, both Ol Malo and Sasaab offer unbeatable opportunities.  I would also head to the coast. Some of Kenya’s long, white sandy beaches are rated amongst the best in the world. Watamu, a pristine marine reserve, is perfect for a family holiday, and not too far from Mombasa, where you can spend an evening sailing along the twinkling lit coast on the Tamarind Dhow

What are your must have items that you pack in your suitcase for a trip to Kenya?

Inside my vintage-style Brics Suitcase, I always carry my Ali Lamu safari bag so I can decant and travel light from within Kenya at a moment’s notice.  A good pair of Penelope Chilvers safari boots are imperative, and I love my massive Winser London massive cashmere for both the airplane and for enveloping myself in on those chilly early morning game drives on Safari. When the suns up, I’m always prepared with a good straw trilby from Jess Collett Milliner, my tortoiseshell Taylor Morris Zero sunglasses, a bikini or two from Beach Cafe, a Pitusa kaftan, my Sisley Paris Factor 50 and a kikoi bought locally from a beach stall. Rae Feather does some great personalised beach baskets and I throw everything haphazardly into one of those.

Tell us about your most treasured piece of jewellery and the story behind it.

A Victorian pearl and sapphire heart-shaped locket in the shape of a heart. My childhood best friend passed away when we were eighteen, and her mother gave it to me. There are flowers in the the back of it which my friend pressed and helped put in there when she was four. It’s my treasure of treasures.

What do you love most about your job?

In or out of London, I love the variety of the people I meet in such different fields, and being witness to such differing creativity. This platform has not only given me the ability to talk about and share the things I love, but also to champion the causes that are close to my heart, which is something I really focus on.

How would you describe your personal style?

Always colourful, always with lipstick (Tom Ford’s Plum Lush) and always with a touch of leopard print.

By Day: Topshop boyfriend jeans, Rose Rankin sneakers, over sized Boden linen shirts and Chinti and Parker cashmere (I particularly love their new Miffy collaboration – too cute!) I carry all my work and laptop in the tortoiseshell Aspinal of London Editor’s Bag – it’s so chic and even charges my phone – next level!

By Night: Jimmy Choo heels or L.K Bennett boots, Hill & Friends Tweency bag, and a swooshing Matthew Williamson dress. A blow dry or ethereal braids by Clo and Flo ups my glam game considerably.

What are your style tips for wearing jewellery?

I love stacking and mixing metals, which is why I particularly love the Tembo Collection – you can mix and match the colours and stack them together which looks great, yet still unfussy.

The Tembo Collection Launch at Bronte

Last month I hosted a blogger’s breakfast at Bronte to launch The Tembo Collection (which I wrote about in detail HERE), my seven piece, Masai bead inspired bracelet collaboration with Auree Jewellery.

100% of all profits from the sales of these bracelets will go to For Rangers, a campaign in conjunction with Tusk, which directly helps the brave heroes on the front line of conservation in Africa, who risk their lives daily to protect elephants and other endangered wildlife from extinction.

Above:  With Will Carmichael, one of the founders of Auree Jewellery, outside Bronte on the Strand.

I knew the quickest and most effective way to to spread the good word far and wide, was to gather a group of my most talented digital buddies, and over a breakfast feast of pancakes and avocado on toast (natch), ask them for their help in raising some vital awareness.  Niomi Smart, Liv Purvis, Peony Lim, Emma Bates, Sarah Mikaela and Juliet Angus were amongst the 22 gorgeous ladies who arrived at Bronte, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and ready to learn more about the collaboration and its goal. 

I knew, having previously visited Bronte for a breakfast meeting earlier in the year and fan-girled over the pretty pink Tom Dixon designed breakfast bar and copper light fixtures, that it was the exact place I wished to have the #TLCxAuree breakfast, and the team there could not have been more accommodating.

The tables were adorned with gorgeous wild flowers arranged by Maua London, and each guest had a personalised engraved bracelet waiting at their place, each with a calligraphy label by Sophia Vaughn

After speaking to everyone about the campaign, and why it one so close to my heart, I showed everyone a short video (below) that I knew would speak volumes louder than I could ever convey. 

“The statistics are unbearable, over a thousand rangers have been killed in the line of duty since 2003. By joining forces with Auree Jewellery and The London Chatter we hope to make a difference, raising funds to ensure that rangers are enabled with good-quality equipment, training and general welfare, including support for the families of rangers killed or injured in the line of duty. These are the men that are risking their lives to save Africa’s iconic species – it is dangerous, tough and thankless work and we must do all we can to help them.”  Sam Taylor, Founder of For Rangers.

By buying these bracelets (£50.00 - £140.00) you will directly be helping to protect elephants across Africa… Now THAT is some guilt free shopping, people! 

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Photography:  Ella Sadika

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

Penelope Chilvers for Tusk Trust

I have for a long time been a fan of Penelope Chilvers and with spending much of my year exploring Kenya's beautiful Samburu, I have lived in her fun and fashionable, yet safari friendly footwear.  I am therefore, in definite need of this safari-inspired rucksack in my life/on my back! In celebration of Tusk's 25th anniversary, Penelope is donating 20% of each of the canvas rucksack sales to helping the organisation raise awareness for wildlife and conservation across Africa. The adorable embroidered badges featured on the bag were designed by children from the Coaching 4 Conservation program in Botswana.  

Tusk Rucksack (RRP. £249.00)