When fashion meets fundraising, beautiful things can happen. That was the idea behind The Elephant Pants, a Manhattan-based company that sells elephant-print pants (along with tops, bags and other accessories) to benefit wild African and Asian elephants. What started as a few pairs of elephant-print harem pants in Thailand has turned into a charitable—and trendy—fashion brand on a mission to save the elephants.
The year was 2014, and friends James Brooks and Nathan Coleman were on a trip to Thailand. The two animal lovers looked in the eyes of an elephant for the first time and were taken by the majesty of the animals, and wanted to help, somehow. During their visit, Coleman took advantage of the locally-made clothing shops around, many of which were dedicated to commemorating elephants through their designs. It wasn’t until after gifting numerous pairs of elephant-print pants made in the tourist city of Chiang Mai and receiving rave reviews that the idea for the business was born.
The Elephant Pants offers fair trade-manufactured clothing made in Thailand to customers around the world at their site. With each purchase made, 10% is donated to anti-poaching and conservation partners that help keep wild elephants safe and healthy. Brooks and Coleman joined forces with the International Elephant Foundation (IEF) to support long-term projects to help protect the beautiful creatures they love. Since the company’s inception in 2014, over $120,000 has been donated to charitable organizations like IEF. That’s a trunk-load!
From their bestselling harem pants to pleated work pants, loungers, joggers, leggings, fleece-lined pants and more … The Elephant Pants has almost as many options as there are elephants, with eclectic patterns to boot. You can also check out their vast selection of tops, ranging from flowy kimonos to cute crop tops, yoga tops to classic tee shirts. Whatever your style, you can own your look and feel great about it, knowing you’re helping protect an endangered species.
Brooks and Coleman wanted their process to be as transparent as possible, which is why they spell out exactly how your dollars help elephants. The Elephant Pants focuses on four aspects of elephant protection including anti-poaching, habitat protection, finding a cure for Elephant Herpes, and preventing human-elephant conflict. While their concerns are multifaceted, their method is simple: you buy clothing, and they donate 10%. Then, of course, you get to take epic elephant selfies and post them to social media.
The Elephant Pants partners with major organizations to save precious elephants from extinction and harm. They also work with everyday fashionistas and elephant-lovers on social media to spread the word. Bloggers, influencers and retailers can get involved by joining the street team, which includes ambassadorships and more. It’s easy to get involved in a grassroots way, the same way that The Elephant Pants brand was born.
Update: The Elephant Pants is no longer in business.