Ask Away...: Wildlife Works - Combining My love of Animals and Fashion

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wildlife Works - Combining My love of Animals and Fashion

I'd like to take this time to introduce you to Wildlife Works and allow them to explain what they do: 

Our founder, Mike Korchinsky created Wildlife Works in 1997 with a simple but powerful idea: Protecting endangered wildlife requires balancing the needs of the animals with the need for work in rural towns. By creating sustainable jobs, we provide viable alternatives for people who previously had to destroy their environment through poaching, clear-cutting or unsustainable farming practices just to survive. 

Mike built the Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary on the land between the Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks in Kenya, which had previously doubled as an animal migration corridor and a slowly failing cattle ranch. At the base of the sanctuary Mike built an eco-factory to produce organic apparel. Over 100 jobs were created between the factory and conservation efforts, and over time the animal population has flourished. 

In 2008 in response to new developments with the United Nation's REDD+ initiative, allowing carbon markets to finance forest conservation, Mike launched a new venture, Wildlife Works Carbon LLC, to pursue more rapid expansion of our business model through the sale of REDD+ carbon credits. Basically, companies can offset their carbon footprint by purchasing carbon credits, which we use to conserve forests. 
So by providing jobs to rural communities in Kenya and selling carbon credits, we can protect endangered animals such as elephants, zebras and cheetahs in our Wildlife Sanctuary and protect 500,000 acres of trees in the Acacia-Commiphora forest. 


Every day we see proof that our conservation efforts are a success! Our protected land now has a balanced ecosystem with 50 large mammal species, more than 20 species of bats and over 300 species of birds. As many as 450 African elephants now call Rukinga home, but their numbers can swell to an estimated 2,000 around the end of the dry seasons in October and March. 
As for the forests, we have expanded our original 80,000 acres of protected land to over 500,000 acres, which will offset 1 million tons of CO2 emissions per year for the next 30 years.
Social responsibility is just as important to us as conservation and environmental stewardship. We're currently building schools, funding scholarships, improving agricultural practices and providing health care for the people in and around our project area.
Our latest arrival, the Spring Summer 2013 Fashion Collection, is a trendy and casual line inspired by various African elements and bold colors. We’ve branched out from our collection of basic tees and graphic prints to include pants, vests, skirts and dresses with a variety of silhouettes and shapes to flatter any body. Every single item is 100% carbon neutral and made from organic cotton. Our supply chain is completely transparent and details can be found here: http://shop.wildlifeworks.com/pages/carbon-neutral-supply-change.

We truly believe that consumerism can fuel conservation and that no one should have to sacrifice comfort or style to buy sustainable products!

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