As the fashion industry is frequently in contact with ivory products, which serve little to no utility, in addition to driving a cruel practice that does irreparable harm to both wildlife and human life, MADE is committed to raising awareness of the African elephant poaching crisis through its highly visible platform and most trafficked event of the year, MADE Fashion Week, which speaks to a young, passionate, and culturally insightful audience of innovators, artists, and media influencers with significant followings collectively numbering in the millions.
Rather than limiting the exposure of the cause to a single-time event, MADE will commission a piece of large-scale artwork inspired by the elephant poaching crisis to be displayed in the gallery of Milk Studios for the entire duration of MADE Fashion Week, September 4-10, 2014. The display would include a placard featuring the participating NGOs along with an impactful summary of the crisis and key statistics. This will result in approximately 12,000 people viewing and interacting with the display in-person, snapping images, and spurring a social media movement on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
In order to build a sustained campaign that results in maximum impact both in the fashion community and a more mainstream audience outside of cosmopolitan New York, the installation initiative in September will be followed by a unique retail experience in October, when MADE designers will produce limited-edition items inspired by the work of the CGI Elephant Action Network and the work of its members to combat the poaching crisis. The products will be upscale and highly sought after items, garnering significant media exposure and forging artistic alliances for NGOs committed to the anti-poaching cause. To coincide with the retail product launch, MADE will also host a cocktail reception in Milk Studios featuring the participating NGOs, MADE designers, and identified conservation experts.
August 15-29th, 2014: Designer renderings approved; installation production underway; PR team pitches stories about the installation and awareness campaign to media.
September 4, 2014: Elephant Action Network installation unveiling; press announcement is circulated.
Mid-September 2014: Post-event media follow-up and stories; retail program development underway.
Early October 2014: Retail experience launches; press announcement is circulated; media hits on the campaign efforts and cause.
MADE is committed to raising awareness of the African elephant poaching crisis. As populations and economies simultaneously rise in East Asia, the demand for ivory trinkets has surged, sending the black market price of this product to historic highs and driving the illegal wildlife trade through high-profit margins aided by poor governance and a weak judicial system. The trade has doubled worldwide since 2007 and elephant poaching levels in Africa are now at their highest since 2011, with 35,000 elephants killed annually (CNN, Jun. 15).
In early June 2014, one of Kenya's most beloved elephants, Satao, was mutilated by poachers for his 250-pound tusks, which will be traded by militant groups for arms and ammunition, fetching as much as ,500 per pound on the black market. The poaching crisis not only threatens global wildlife populations, but millions in Africa who depend on tourism for their livelihood.
A few startling statistics:
- 96 African elephants are killed daily
- An estimated 35,000 African elephants were killed last year alone
- A staggering 62% of forest elephants vanished from central Africa between 2002 and 2011
- A survey by IFAW in 2011 found that out of 158 shops and carving factories in Beijing, Shanghai, Fuzhou, and Guangzhou, 101 were operating without licenses, or were selling smuggled ivory
- Al-Shabab, the Somalia-based wing of Al-Qaeda, raises ,000 a month from poaching to fund its activities. Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army, the rebel group notorious for enslaving children, also raises money through poaching.
Best practice information: securing conservation experts and representatives, beyond identified NGO participants, to be present at major events, including installation unveiling in September and cocktail reception timed to the retail product launch in early October.
Media support & branding: MADE will work to ensure that all efforts and critical information about the anti-poaching cause are highly visible across the media sphere and throughout influencer circles.
Engagement of creative partners: MADE has access to the top designers, artists, and innovators working today. MADE can leverage these networks and make introductions to other organizations looking to engage a more creative audience.