While the recent outcry at Melissa Bachman’s twitter post celebrating her male lion kill in South Africa caused an online furor, the reality is that lion poaching is on the rise, and population decline of 30% to 50% can be seen across the African range over the past two decades.
Internationally known artist, serial entrepreneur and conservationist Conor Mccreedy’s latest venture is protecting what he considers to be Africa’s most iconic predators. “If we don’t act fast these majestic animals will be extinct by 2020,” he says.
“We’ve created the PAL (Protect African Lions) foundation to give people an opportunity to stand with us in supporting these extraordinary animals.”
Using fashion to make a statement
As an artist who wanted to use beauty to support PAL’s cause, Mccreedy approached local designer Lianne Landman to create a unique range of leather and pewter jewelry to raise funds for the foundation.
Designed to be accessible, fashionable and incorporating both PAL’s logo and MccreedyBlue, a colour patented by the artist, the PAL bracelets are handmade by women in Diepsloot township, South Africa.
“The PAL foundation has created over 16 jobs to manufacture these MccreedyBlue PAL bracelets,” says Mccreedy. “We feel very blessed to be in a position, given South Africa’s 25% unemployment rate, to provide meaningful employment for young men and women who live in communities near Lianne’s studio in Diepsloot. We’re driven by the need to create jobs and to help the young women in our country to improve socially and professionally. PAL doesn’t only support Lions and charity aid in Africa, but also helps build communities in South Africa through job creation.”
Top ambassadors on board
Amongst the ambassadors who are spearheading the cause are Ashish Thakkar, head of MARA group and one of Africa’s youngest billionaires, Rohan Marley, entrepreneur, activist and son of reggae artist Bob Marley, Francois Pienaar, ex-Springbok Rugby Captain, and Jenna Clifford, founder of Jenna Clifford Jewelry.
For more information on the PAL foundation or to purchase a bracelet visit http://protectingafricanlions.org/