PARIS — Introducing a sobering spin on the concept of limited edition, Lacoste has partnered with the International Union for Conservation of Nature on a run of polo shirts embroidered with 10 critically endangered species and limited in quantities to the exact number of featured animals remaining on Earth — 1775 in total.
Dubbed Save Our Species, the shirts, which sport stylized drawings of each animal embroidered in the same green yarn as the Lacoste crocodile logo, will go on sale immediately after the house’s show on Wednesday. They will be available on the brand’s digital “flagships” in the U.S. and Europe, priced at 150 euros.
The polos will not feature in the show, but the last 10 looks of the collection will be themed around each of the endangered species. The house is yet to confirm which of those looks will be commercialized.
The species featured are: the Burmese roofed turtle, the northern sportive lemur, the Javan rhino, the kakapo parrot, the cao vit gibbon, the California condor, the Saola, the Sumatran tiger, the Anegada ground iguana, and the vaquita or Gulf of California porpoise.
All proceeds from the collaboration will go to the IUCN, which is billed as the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, with over 10,000 international experts and 1,300 members including states, government agencies, NGOs and indigenous peoples’ organizations.
On the subject of the crocodile giving up its seat for the cause, Lacoste creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista said for some members of the management team it took a bit of convincing, but that “the idea took off and people jumped on board.”
A project like this “is great for creating awareness outside but also for us internally,” he said, adding that the house has sustainable projects in the pipeline, though it’s too early to share details. The partnership with IUCN is for three years, with various other initiatives to roll out over that period.
“Everyone should be thinking about it. Personally if I buy a piece of clothing and know I’m helping the environment or a cause, it’s a great thing,” said Baptista.