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Spanish luxury brand’s limited edition bags fight for an African cause

Image: Courtesy of Loewe

In today’s world it is rare not to think of international luxury brands using African design elements as cultural appropriation. But the recent collaboration between Loewe and the ‘Knot On My Planet’ (KOMP) campaign and its global ambassador Doutzen Kroes has made a notable contribution in changing this perception.  At the heart of the KOMP campaign is the aim to stop elephant poaching, prevent trafficking and end the demand for ivory. This is in response to the elephant watch camp statistics which states that about 30 thousand elephants are killed each year that is  one elephant every 15 minutes.

Loewe bag
Image: Courtesy of Loewe

Creative director of Loewe, Jonathan Anderson’s interest in elephant conservation was sparked after seeing the work of KOMP. Through the campaign Anderson learnt about the negative impact the ivory crisis has on the ecosystems of Africa and Asia, and was introduced to the Samburu community which works closely with ‘Save the Elephants a charity founded by Iain Douglas-Hamilton.  

Loewe then travelled to Kenya to work with the Samburu workshop on the limited edition Elephant Mini Bag made from supple tan calfskin, a signature bag for the brand. The bags latest editions have been adorned with handcrafted beadwork by Samburu women from the northern Kenya. These women have been living among the elephants for decades and are renowned for their skilled craftsmanship.

In support of the Elephant Crisis Fund, a joint initiative between Save the Elephants and the Wildlife Conversation Network, in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, and KOMP, all the proceeds from the sale of the bags, which cost £1 100 (about R19 200), will be donated to conservation initiatives.

In Kroes’ words this project meets the demand of luxury consumers who want to buy luxury items while giving back at the same time.  See a selection of exclusive imagery of the making of the beads below and shop the bags at Loewe.com

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