Last week, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the program Save our Species launched during Paris Fashion Week 2018 a cooperation its the famous crocodile-labelled fashion brand, Lacoste. To raise awareness on threatened species, the brand released an exclusive "capsule" collection comprised of limited-edition polos, on which the traditional crocrodile has been replaced by an endangered animal logo instead.
The concept is interesting and concerning at the same time: each of the 10 animals that have been picked in the campaign has been used as per the number of remaining animals living in the wild (i.e. from a few dozen to a few hundreds based on the species). In total, 1775 polos have been brought to sale at 150 euros piece (50e more than a regular crocodile poloshirt), though the IUCN or Lacoste websites do not disclose how the money will be used/shared/invested. Needless to say, they were all sold out in the blink of an eye....
...to be found on Ebay for minimum triple the original price, including many offers that already reach 2,500 euros! The bids I suppose increase with the species's poloshirt-scarcity, and I would not be surprised whether there would already be fake ones available on the market.
I discussed the situation with some frustrated friends of mine: was it a one-time-only buzz that will help the brand's and the organization's visibility? wouldn't it be better to make this collection mainstream at a later stage (e.g. removing the scarcity factor of the items) to better raise awareness? What about disclosing how the campaign will actually benefit the protection of chosen species? And finally, who are the [place your favourite insult or swearword here] people who speculated over the sale to make extra money on Ebay?!
So many critical questions that started from a great intention... What do you think: Good or bad buzz?
Pics & video: Lacoste