You knew them first as the label that brought you the endangered animal sports tees like the "Beijing Bears" and the "Havana Hawksbills". Celebrities and common folk alike were sporting them from the beaches of California to the streets of New York. They were the talk of the town from Oprah to Cindy Crawford to CNN and they even showed at London Fashion Week in 2008. A portion of the profits from the sales of the t-shirts went to support the wildlife and their threatened habitats. They called it "Consumer Powered Conservation" and for me it was the first time I was introduced to the idea that What I Bought could truly make a difference. Wildlife Works helped me make that connection.
For the last year the Wildlife Works store was temporarily closed as they refocused on the organization's priorities and new projects. And finally today, I received an email that they have officially launched their new site where they now offer both a carbon offset credit market and a new fashion line which both help fund their forestry protection programs.
The organization had always been transparent about the origins of the clothes - giving details on which were organic, which were fair-trade, etc. but now with their revamped website, they have provided details for each item from cradle to consumer including the carbon count! And their sleek site is beautiful to behold and easy to navigate - the images seem to leap out from your screen. The acacia trees silhouetted against the deep blue skies, the rock outcropping against the horizon of the Rukinga sanctuary and the exotic, wild elephants photographed... the images make me yearn for an opportunity to find myself sidetracked in Africa or at least enjoying a short stay in the savanna!
From the website:"Wildlife Works is the world's leading project developer for a UN-backed carbon credit program called REDD (Reduced Emissions From Deforestation and Degradation), which has emerged as the most hopeful initiative to combat global warming." This type of transparency is incredible and I hope that we see more of the same from other organizations - companies. And I also like that their work encompasses so many elements: education, eco-friendly products, protecting wildlife, growing trees and helping farmers.
So whether you are a fashionista or a devoted environmentalists (desiring transparency in what you buy), or you are seeking a great place to purchase carbon offsets (love that they have options for "party", "monster truck" and "dorm room"!) or you just want a new fair trade tank top or maybe for you it's all about helping save some gorgeous, regal elephants - Wildlife Works does it all. Seriously - this organization rocks!
Visit them here: Wildllife Works and Wild Blog. You'll find more details on the REDD program, journal entries on the work they do at the Rukinga sanctuary and videos on each of the six elements of the organization. And if you want to receive project updates you can sign up to receive them. I can't wait to see what's next for this progressive organization. I truly feel better about the world knowing that there are organizations like this.
"We believe that all species have an intrinsic right to exist on Earth, without having to prove their value." - Wildlife Works
* Images from Ann's Kenya Blog and Babe in the Bush Blog