Lacoste has temporarily replaced its iconic polo shirts’ crocodile logo with the images of 10 endangered species on a series of limited-edition polo shirts, designed to bring attention to the threat of extinction.
The limited-edition ‘Lacoste x Save Our Species’ polo shirts, which feature animals such as the Sumatran Tiger, the Anegada Rock Iguana and the Burmese Roofed Turtlein in place of the famous crocodile, were launched during the brand’s runway show at Paris Fashion Week in March and sold out immediately.
The French brand calibrated the number of polo shirts produced for each series to the population of the remaining animals in the wild. Of the 1,775 shirts available, the Gulf of California porpoise had the smallest print run, with just 30 shirts available, while Lacoste made 450 shirts featuring the Cyclone of Anegada Island – an iguana from the British Virgin Island.
Proceeds from the sale of the polo shirts were donated to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an international advocacy organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources that sponsored the campaign.
The Save Our Species collaboration, which was initiated by French advertising agency BETC, will help the charity to coordinate frontline projects worldwide in order to help ensure the long-term survival of threatened species, their habitats and the people who depend on them.
The US Fish & Wildlife Service has placed 1,459 animals on its threatened and endangered list. “Together these rare reptiles, birds and mammals champion the plight of all known threatened species,” IUCN said in a statement.
Wildlife expert Jeff Corwin lauded Lacoste’s efforts and said he hoped it would inspire other companies to take on similar projects. “It’s a great start and I’m hoping it’s just the beginning and inspires other companies to follow suit,”Corwin told CNN. “Maybe Jaguar will do something for jaguars. Ram trucks maybe will start protecting big horn sheep.”
“Generating awareness is equally important to fundraising because in order to solve the problem you need to understand the challenges,” Corwin added.
Lacoste’s crocodile logo was introduced in 1936, and since its inception it has never been changed to feature other animals. “The Lacoste crocodile is one of the world’s most iconic logos, proudly displayed on the brand’s famous polos for the past 85 years,” said the brand’s spokesperson in a statement. “For the first time in the brand’s history BETC has initiated a change of the logo.”
“Lacoste and BETC worked closely with IUCN’s experts to define and select ten threatened species, whose animals have been designed by the Lacoste studio to create the logos, adopting exactly the same embroidery approach as the historic Crocodile,” it continued.