Following the success of her sell-out jewellery collection made from Amazonian wild rubber in 2013 for Sky Rainforest Rescue; Lily has collaborated with Veja who use wild Amazonian rubber on the soles of their trainers to raise awareness of the versatility of the naturally occurring material. The Amazon Rainforest is the only place on earth where rubber trees grow in the wild and their sap (known as liquid latex) can be extracted by rubber tappers without damaging or cutting down the trees. Veja works with local rubber tapping communities including those in the Sky Rainforest Rescue project area in Acre. They buy the rubber at a price that guarantees a better income for the rubber tappers and enables them to keep the trees standing.
Lily has created a range of Veja canvas trainers known as the 'Taua' design in three of the hottest colour palettes for SS14. The design celebrates the smaller flora and fauna of the rainforest - from the delicate wild mushroom to the enchanting hummingbird. Lily's inspiration for the design came from her trip to the Amazon in 2012 where she saw the breath-taking beauty of butterflies, birds, dragonflies and plants that depend on the eco-system of the Amazon rainforest to survive.
Lily commented: The survival of the rainforest depends on managing its resources. With all eyes on Brazil this summer, my collection not only taps into the SS14 flat shoe trend, but also shows how wild Amazonian rubber can be used to make desirable products for people's everyday lives. During my trip to the Amazon I was spent time with rubber tappers and got to try out this skilled technique. I saw first-hand the crucial part that Sky Rainforest Rescue plays in creating demand for wild Amazonian rubber for companies like Veja, and making the rainforest worth more standing. "
The limited edition collection will be available to buy online and through Offspring concessions stores in Topshop on Oxford Street and Selfridges in London and Manchester. Prices start at £55 for the low top trainer known as Veja Taua Amazon in Oxford Grey and go up to £65 for the mid top trainer Veja Taua Mid Amazon in Clementine and Nautico. For every pair of trainers sold Sky will donate £10 to Sky Rainforest Rescue and WWF-UK's work to help support the livelihood of rubber tappers and equip them to tap six more trees, helping to protect rainforest.
Lily Cole's Veja footwear collection for Sky Rainforest Rescue is on sale w/c 2nd June 2014 June. For more information about the collaboration please visit www.skyrainforest.com
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Lily Cole and Veja collection stockists:
· High-street: Offspring concessions in Selfridges (London & Manchester) and Topshop (Oxford Street, London)
· Online: www.sarenza.co.uk and www.veja-store.com
Sky Rainforest Rescue
Sky Rainforest Rescue is a partnership between Sky and WWF that began in October 2009 to help save one billion trees in the Amazon rainforest and has been extended until 2015. Today, every minute, an area larger than three football pitches of Amazon forest is lost. The goal of Sky Rainforest Rescue is to help protect one billion trees in the state of Acre, north-west Brazil by working with the local government and communities to create a future for the Amazon rainforest by making the forest worth more alive than dead. The hope is that Sky Rainforest Rescue will become a model for tackling deforestation in other areas of the Amazon, as well as other rainforests around the world.
Tackling deforestation must play an important part in how we fight global warming which is why, Lily Cole's collection aims to highlight the importance of keeping the monetary value of the trees still standing in the rainforest higher, than those which are cut down. By highlighting the versatility and viability of wild Amazonian rubber, they aim to make a green economy sustainable in Brazil.
For every 500 pairs sold (£5,000) WWF could provide three families with the equipment to produce wild rubber. This special kind of rubber demands a higher price per kilo - making tapping a feasible alternative to cutting down the trees.
The public can support the campaign by donating to our field programme, downloading the Sky Rainforest Rescue Twibbon, liking the campaign on Facebook or following on Twitter.
WWF has been at the forefront of protecting the Amazon for more than 40 years. And, in that time, has supported numerous major successes. In the last decade alone WWF has helped to more than double the area of rainforest under protection in the Brazilian Amazon.
For more information visit: www.sky.com/rainforestrescue
VEJA is a French fashion brand that uses organic cotton and wild rubber from the Amazon as well as leather tanned with plant extracts to create trainers and accessories, made in Brazil, which respect both the environment and human rights.
The VEJA project is founded on a positive chain from the producers to the consumers. Learn more on www.veja.fr