French clothing company Lacoste has partnered with Save Our Species campaign in a unique campaign to bring awareness to the little-known endangered animals.
The sports brand will, for the first time, in its 85-year history replace its logo with images of disappearing animal species. Lacoste teamed up with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to produce a limited number of polo shirts.
“The number of polos produced for each series corresponds to the remaining population sizes in the wild. By buying one of the 1775 polos, you participate in helping IUCN and Lacoste in the fight for wildlife conservation worldwide,” Lacoste explained.
The environment awareness campaign counters allegations, made by Greenpeace seven years ago, against the company after it was named among sporting clothes brand that had contributed to polluting the Yangtze and Pearl rivers in China.
"The crocodile is leaving its iconic spot to 10 threatened species through a partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature,” a statement on the company's Instagram said.
The 10 species – which includes rare reptiles, birds and mammals – and the number of shirts produced are: Vaquita (Gulf of California porpoise): 30, Burmese roofed turtle: 40, Northern sportive lemur: 50, Javan rhino: 67, Cao- vit gibbon (ape): 150, Kakapo (parrot): 157, California condor: 231, Saola (herbivore): 250, Sumatran tiger: 350 and the Anegada ground iguana: 450.
Wildlife expert Jeff Corwin told CNN that he hopes Lacoste will inspire other companies to get involved with similar projects.
“Generating awareness is equally important to fundraising because in order to solve the problem you need to understand the challenges,” he said.
“It's a great start and I'm hoping it's just the beginning and inspires other companies to follow suit. Maybe Jaguar will do something for jaguars. Ram trucks maybe will start protecting bighorn sheep.”
The US$200 shirts have sold out. Proceeds go to the IUCN.
According to the Mirror, Lacoste will partner with the charity for three years.
The crocodile logo is a reference to French tennis player and founder Rene Lacoste’s nickname which references his performance on the court.