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Text by Anna Wade
Here at the BSBCC, we rely on the generosity of others to help us support our centre. It is incredibly important for us to try and maintain a high profile to make sure that people are aware of our cause and the work that is being carried out to protect the Sun Bear species. Recently, we have received the support of Ipanema, a company that sells sandals worldwide.
The campaign was instigated by Matthias Gelber, who is also known as ‘The Green Man.’ As stated on his website, he has a ‘passion for preserving the planet’s natural environment,’ and after visiting the BSBCC with other volunteers in June 2012. He was determined to help raise awareness in Malaysia for the work being carried out here. After talking to our founder, Wong, he said that he felt ‘extremely fortunate for all the information provided in regards to conservation, rehabilitation and initiatives being carried out at the BSBCC for the future preservation, survival and freedom of the Sun Bears.’ Armed with the knowledge shared by Wong, he set out to share news of the BSBCC to a wider network, through Ipanema.
Named after a beach on the coast of Rio De Janeiro, Ipanema products aim to ‘represent much more than fashion.’ On their U.K. website, they state that they have ‘a strong environmental and ethical influence that aims to preserve all this natural beauty for generations to come.’ In contributing to the BSBCC it appears that this is not merely a statement, but a mission they intend to fulfil. On the 29th of March this year, Ipanema launched their Gisele Bündchen Spring/Summer collection, donating 3 Malaysian Ringgit to the BSBCC for every pair of sandals sold from March 1st to June 30th. Press coverage of the event was aired on Saffiyah, Quickie and Wanita Hari Ini with a positive response to the collection and its involvement with the BSBCC.
Not only is the Ipanema Gisele Bündchen range Sun Bear friendly, it is also environmentally friendly. In an interview at the campaign launch, Matthias Gelber said that the Ipanema Gisele Bündchen product materials had been designed specifically to ‘enhance the recyclability’ and he believed that it was a ‘3 in 1’ product as it was a ‘green brand, had green philosophy and supported a local charity.’
As the Ipanema Gisele Bündchen collection continues to raise money for the BSBCC, we give our heartfelt thanks to all of those who have been involved in this campaign. It is fundraisers like this that help us to continue to rescue and rehabilitate Sun Bears and provide the standard of care that they deserve. It also helps us to spread the word regarding the plight of Malaysia’s vulnerable bear. So what are you waiting for? Time to get a new pair of sandals to help sun bears!