Today I'm launching my passion project, ENDANGERED - a jewelry brand that contributes to the protection and reconstruction of our world's most endangered species, categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's official Red List. Biodiversity is a prerequisite for all life on our planet, but it is not to be taken for granted. More than 28,000 species are currently classified as endangered. It is over 27 percent of all species ever mapped.
The story behind ENDANGERED is rooted in my lifelong fascination for wildlife, combined with my interest in silversmithing, and is an idea that took shape during a five-month trip to Southeast Asia last year.
There were several crucial things that happened to me during that trip. I took the time to reflect on my values, what needs and drivers I had, and spent invaluable time visiting places where wildlife lives in their natural environment. Experiencing them so close was among the most powerful I have ever experienced. To then become aware of the threats they live under because of human influence was painful to me.
I have visited nature reserves for rhinos that were protected from illegal hunting, seen sea turtles hatched under the protection of the native guerrilla and visited rehabilitation centers for wounded orangutans. When I lived at the National Geographic Eco Lodge in Borneo's rainforest, I learned that wild orangutans in Borneo's and Sumatra's rainforests were almost completely extinct due to commercial agriculture, poaching and the illegal trade. It is estimated that almost 90 percent of the population surveyed in the 1970s will be extinct by 2025.
There are few things that make me more upset than when innocent gets hurt, especially animals. So I had to do something.
In Bali, in the small village of Celuk, I found a studio that manufactures gold and silver forging of recycled metals. I have been doing silversmithing for over five years and to combine my interest and at the same time do a good deed - became the beginning of ENDANGERED.
HOW IT WORKS
Each individual design is based on an endangered species, listed as "endangered" - or "critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's official Red List. Of the sales, 20 percent (= 75 percent of estimated profit) is donated to relevant organizations working to protect and rebuild species in their natural habitats. Giving such a large portion of the profits is an aggressive goal, but the core of why ENDANGERED exists.
FIRST COLLECTION: OCEAN REEF
The first collection is dedicated to the coral reefs - the rainforests of the sea. The recent surge in temperature in the world's oceans due to increased carbon dioxide emissions and destructive fishing methods has had major consequences for the coral reefs that fade and die at a furious rate. The coral reef is home to nearly 2 million species - an extreme richness of species and biodiversity. We must support organizations working on conservation measures and research to save, not just the corals, but any other life that is entirely dependent on its existence.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER THERESE MAURIN
I am based in Stockholm and, apart from the initiators of ENDANGERED, am a consultant in Sustainable Marketing, Marketing Director at ATP Atelier, board member of the Second Hand service Plick and lecturer at Snackare.se.