Between the year 2010 and 2012, 100,000 elephants of both African and Asian origin were poached so that their much-coveted ivory tusks could be removed and reshaped into piano keys, billiards balls, household decoration, and other objects for human enjoyment. That’s approximately one elephant life lost every 15 minutes over the course of those two years. If this trend were to reappear every year since then, the world would be looking at a complete and utter eradication of its wild elephant population by the year 2025.
The global elephant population has declined by a chilling 50 percent over the last 35 years, and it doesn’t take a genius to guess what the empirically-proved number one cause for this swan-dive in their numbers might be. People, through their actions and inactions, have a greater impact on the wildlife of the world than many of us realize. Clothing company The Elepant Pants have made it their mission to bring awareness to the plight of our gentle, big-earred friends, and help others do their part to establish a brighter future in which elephant populations stand strong.
The Elepant Pants began their adventures in apparel with a specific product singled out. These are, of course, the elephant pants for which the brand is named – a pair of roomy, high-quality harem pants featuring a bohemian-inspired, elephant-loving print, produced to help The Elephant Pants feel good about their look while they feel good about their actions.
As their success began to skyrocket, the TEP team began to dip their trunks into new waters, and the result is a fully-fledged clothing line that includes loungers, shorts, yoga pants, kimonos, and more. All of these comfortable, beautiful pieces are available in a wide variety of colors and sizes, making them a joy for anyone to wear – and a joy for the big, gray stars of the show, too. "While every elephant herd faces its own unique challenges," the TEP team say, "the tactics needed to overcome them all have one thing in common: humans working together. With partners on the ground wherever there are elephants, we aim to use our products and the lifestyle they inspire as a vehicle for real change."
A significant portion of all proceeds from purchases made on the The Elephant Pants website goes directly towards partner organizations dedicated to the protection of African and Asian elephants. These groups include 96 Elephants, the International Elephant Foundation, Asian Elephant Support, and the African Wildlife Foundation. Most recently, TEP has teamed up with Tusk, a project committed to providing a network for those who work the hardest to provide a solution for the issues facing African wildlife today.
The Elephant Pants was first conceived when Brooklyn natives and Rochester Institute of Technology students Nathan Coleman (the brand’s CEO and CMO) and James Brooks (CFO) were traveling abroad in 2014. At what they would come to look back on as the pivotal point of their trip, the two of them one day found themselves looking up at an elephant. It was awe-inspiring – powerful yet peaceful, with a moving intelligence in its beetle-black eyes. Suddenly, they become aware of why elephants had been held up as icons of grace and dignity for thousands of years across various cultures. Filled with a new vocation – to end the exploitation and poaching of elephants around the world – Nathan and James formed a plan. That plan was pants, and small a token as it might sound, the result was anything but – since The Elephant Pants opened for business, it has sold more than 400,000 pairs of its signature product, and donated over $127,000 to its cause.
Earlier this year, The Elephant Pants took its business model to the trial-by-fire reality TV business pitch show for entrepreneurs, Shark Tank, where it was looked on favorably by fashion mogul and FUBU founder Daymond John, who invested significantly. Proving that their names mean promising things for the future of elephants and Sharks alike, it’s little wonder that Coleman and Brooks are spearheading The Elephant Pants’ journey into a zone at incredible profitability at impressive speed. With a cause like theirs lighting the way, we should be glad of it.