Here at Natural World Safaris we are keen advocates of a number of conservation projects. Last night we were pleased to support local MA student and adventurer Holly Budge as the sponsor of her ‘96 Elephants a Day’ exhibition.
As part of her MA in Sustainable Design at the University of Brighton, Holly has created ‘96 Elephants A Day’, an infographic exhibition presenting a physical commentary on the devastating impact of the elephant ivory trade.
On average, 4 elephants an hour, 96 elephants a day, 35,040 elephants a year are being poached for their ivory in Africa. At this rate, the elephant will be extinct by 2025.
Poached ivory is commonly used within the jewellery trade and is especially popular in China where there is a lack of understanding about the source of ivory. Holly is proposing the use of vegetable ivory in jewellery as a sustainable alternative. Produced from the seeds of certain palm trees native to South America, vegetable ivory is remarkably similar to, and has the same properties as elephant ivory. What one ivory palm produces in a year, one elephant produces in a lifetime.
Holly, pictured above with her course director Professor Jonathan Chapman, shows how this sustainable material can be used in jewellery design with her exhibition centrepiece, a necklace consisting of 96 elephants, laser cut from vegetable ivory.
Holly is planning for the exhibition to be shown in London, Shanghai & Hong Kong this year, helping raise awareness in China of the sustainable alternative to ivory. The pieces will then be donated to Tusk and auctioned for charity.
As an adventurer, Holly has set two world records in less than 12 months apart. In October 2008 she became the first woman to Skydive Mount Everest and in August 2009 completed the world's longest horse race, 1000kms across Mongolian wilderness, in just nine days. You can read more about her adventures or see examples of her jewellery on her website. We wish her good luck with her latest venture, travelling with the exhibition to raise awareness of the elephant ivory trade. Follow the project via the 96 Elephants Facebook page.