Fashion unites for a cause: Save the Elephants

Exactly one year ago today, I was making my way across the plains of the Serengeti for the first time. Every single thing was brand new to me, from the kind and caring Maasai Warriors, who acted as guides for our time in Africa, to the animals that seemed to casually appear around every bend in the wilderness. If I could have stopped myself from blinking in order to capture more visual memories, I would have done so. I left a woman obsessed. I also left with knowledge, and it was this information that scared me. While in Tanzania, our group had made time to meet with a group of conservationists who were interested in spreading the word on what exactly was happening on the ground here with animals that are in grave danger. In particular, we focused on the elephants. 

So, when PORTER Magazine, Tiffany & Co. and Net-a-Porter invited me to attend a very special night in conversation with Saba Douglas-Hamilton in London, I jumped at the chance. It seemed fitting that on the anniversary of my first encounter with an elephant, I would be sitting front and centre hearing how I can further aid in the effort to save these beautiful animals from harm’s way. I was not familiar with Saba before hearing her speak, but afterwards I felt as if I knew every intimate detail behind her quest to be a part of saving the elephants of this world. {Saba Douglas-Hamilton is the Director of the Elephant Watch Camp in Kenya and also works as a trustee for Save the Elephants, a charity that was set up by her father, Iain Douglas-Hamilton.}

The story of how the fashion world got involved with saving the elephants is long and rather entertaining, but I’m not here to repeat it. If you’re interested, grab PORTER Magazine and look into the over 50 pages dedicated to the cause in this month’s issue. Trust me, it’s worth a read. What I am here to do is to encourage you to get involved, any way that you can. These fashion legends – Tiffany & Co., Net-a-Porter and PORTER Magazine- are all working together to raise awareness and money for a cause that so desperately requires global attention now.

Saba Douglas-Hamilton is really the one who should be here talking to you, in her beautifully rich and worldly accent, describing the help that is so desperately needed. Instead you get me, and I know I’ll never do it justice. On the night of the talk in London, Saba spoke of the connection between elephants and humans and I was welling up throughout the entire monologue. She spoke of their social interactions, their ability to sincerely mourn the loss of life and the way in which their intelligence and compassion make them gentle giants but also forces to be reckoned with.  Saba also scared us all by bringing to our attention the fact that our own children might one day live in a world where elephants no longer exist and that, dear reader, I simply cannot allow to happen. Did you know that 33,000 elephants are killed each year to service the demand for ivory? Did you also know that elephants are also presently in danger with the growing populations of people across Africa? The pictures of the slaughter of these beautiful animals is too much to see. And once seen, these are images you will never forget. For those of you willing to face the truth, watch this now:

Save The Elephants is currently working to not only educate the world on the crisis at hand, their also using modern day technology to assist elephant herds in existence today. Mobile phone apps currently inform researchers of the movements of herds throughout the area, as the elephants are fitted with GPS tracking devices. Advancements in research and technology also led to an idea that would keep elephants out of rural areas and crops that were often raided by elephants late at night. Studies found that elephants hate bees. So what did they do next? Well they brought bees to local people and set up hives along the perimeter of villages and fields to keep the elephants at bay, while also doubling farmers’ incomes by setting them up as producers of honey. A win-win for all concerned, right? 

With all this happening, and more on the horizon, I bet you’re thinking the same thing I am….

How can people help, globally? What can we do, sitting from home at our computer screens, to be a part of helping elephants the world over? 

Well, the easiest thing to do is to donate to the cause. Yes, I know you saw that coming. Truly, even £25 can make a massive difference in keeping this conservation project afloat. If you think about it, that’s basically your Starbucks order for a week, lovelies.

You can also get involved by spreading the world, share the Save the Elephants webpage on your social channels. Talk about the cause with friends and family. Start a conversation and end it with “there is still time to be a part of the effort to turn things around.”

Even following Save The Elephants on Instagram can help make a difference in raising awareness. 

If you want to learn more, get online and let your fingers do the walking. If you really want to know more, make your next vacation an active one and head to Elephant Watch Camp, an eco-luxury experience that allows travelers the opportunity to get up close and personal with the nearly 1,000 elephants that roam the Samburu National Reserve. 

Tiffany & Co. have also launched a special Save The Wild collection, with 100% of profits going straight to the Elephant Crisis Fund, which will support anti-poaching, anti-trafficking and ivory demand reduction. The beautiful silver necklace you see herewith is from the collection and it’s an item I will be wearing with great pride and with a story ready to share for anyone that may enquire about the charm. 

Let us all be a part of a change for the better. This is our chance to make a contribution, in time, money or social sharing, that can make a difference. I know we all talk about wanting to be a part of something that can make the world a better place for the next generation. Don’t allow the slaughter of elephants to continue, so that the next generation can only read about elephants in books. This problem is real, it’s right now, it’s right here in front of you. What can you do, now? GIVE


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