French clothing brand Lacoste has announced that the company is ditching its iconic alligator logo for a limited run of Save Our Species shirts made in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Launched at Paris Fashion Week, the entire run of shirts will total only 1,775. The number of shirts made with each animal will correspond to the known population of that particular animal in the wild.
Lacoste’s website states that “by buying a polo, you participate in helping IUCN and Lacoste in the fight for wildlife conservation worldwide.”
It’s unclear from their messaging if the “participation” buyers experience will simply be spreading awareness or if proceeds from the sale of the shirts (each of which will run at $185) will be allocated to the foundation.
In the absence of any concrete figures on how the revenue will be shared, some are applauding the effort to increase awareness, but remain skeptical of whether the company’s simply leveraging the goodwill to keep the profit for themselves.
Financial interests aside, the clever tactic has people talking; and with so few of the shirts (and, sadly, the animals they represent) available, it’s unlikely the 1,775 shirts will last long.
The array of animals (and their corresponding population) includes:
- Vaquita — 30
- Burmese roofed turtle — 40
- Northern sportive lemur — 50
- Javan rhinoceros — 67
- Cao-vit black crested gibbon — 150
- Kakapo — 157
- California condor — 231
- Saola — 250
- Sumatran tiger — 350
- Anegada ground iguana — 450