Top Fashion Influencers Join USAID’s “Beautiful Without Ivory” Campaign

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Top Fashion Influencers Join USAID’s “Beautiful Without Ivory” Campaign
The U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Michael Heath kicked off the launch of the “Beautiful Without Ivory” campaign along with Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation’s CITES Implementation and Monitoring Sub-division Director Klairoong Poonpon and three of Thailand’s top fashion influencers.
USAID Wildlife Asia

For Immediate Release

Friday, September 20, 2019

BANGKOK – USAID launched a new lifestyle multi-media campaign today, “Beautiful Without Ivory”, that aims to deter women from buying and wearing ivory jewelry and accessories and reduce social acceptability of ivory products.

“In Thailand, elephants are a national symbol, a source of pride and heritage long revered for their important role in Thai history and culture. But we know elephants are under threat.  The value of trafficked elephant tusks in Thailand is estimated in the tens of millions of dollars, tusks that are later carved into decorative items, like jewelry. Today’s event serves as the launch of two campaigns to help stop the ivory trade in Thailand,” said Michael Heath, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.

The event by USAID Wildlife Asia at the Anantara Siam Hotel highlighted the campaign key messages, True Beauty Does Not Need Ivory and Ivory Is Never Beautiful And Never Acceptable.

Five of Thailand’s top fashion influencers with large social media followings conveyed this message through a new 45-second video featuring Cindy ‘Sirinya’ Bishop, Supermodel and Actress; Pichaya Soontornyanakij, Celebrity Chef; Jareyadee Spencer, TV Host and Entrepreneur; Praewatchara Schmid, Top 10 Miss Thailand Universe 2019; and Varine Charungvat, Content Creator and Celebrity Photographer. 

In Thailand, a USAID Wildlife Asia 2018 consumer research found that an estimated 500,000 people currently own and use ivory products. What is concerning is that the research also found that around 750,000 Thais intend to buy ivory products in the future and around 2.5 million people think that owning and using ivory is socially acceptable.

A significant market segment for ivory in Thailand is composed of women who desire ivory, particularly jewelry and accessories, for its perceived beauty.  The “Beautiful Without Ivory” campaign addresses these women.

“Wearing ivory is no longer fashionable nor acceptable.  There are many other options that are more beautiful, acceptable and sustainable. As women, we need to stop using ivory jewelry and accessories,” said Cindy Bishop, one of the campaign’s Fashion Influencers.

During this campaign launch, a 60-second animated video to discourage tourists from buying ivory gifts and souvenirs in Thailand was also introduced. Produced by USAID Wildlife Asia in collaboration with the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation of the Minor Group, this video, which will air in the Anantara hotels’ in-house channel, informs tourists that bringing ivory in and out of Thailand is illegal.

USAID Wildlife Asia is implementing the Beautiful Without Ivory campaign in partnership with the Thailand Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

The public can help spread the word that True Beauty Does Not Need Ivory and Ivory Is Never Beautiful and Never Acceptable by pledging at: