Ivory is formed from dentine and constitutes the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals such as the elephant, hippopotamus, walrus, mammoth and narwhal.
At today, we know that Man is the elephant's only serious predator. Anyone who buy ivory contribute to kill an elephant and the process behind the hunting of ivory is horrific and the elephant's death (by poisoned darts) is slow and painful.
1989 was the year of the Worldwide Ivory Trade Ban, however in 2002 the United Nations partially lifted the ban on ivory trade, allowing a few countries to export certain amounts of ivory In this awful perspective, the increasing demand for ivory - for jewelry and ornamental uses above all - threatens elephant's survival more than ever.
Beyond the unethical territory of commercial and political involvements, common people may ignore there is a suistainable alternative to ivory: a vegetable seed obtained from an Amazonian palm tree commonly known as Vegetable Ivory. These seeds - dryed, cured, carved - are infact extremely similar to ivory. More than this, on the sustainable side, vegetable ivory also stimulate the South American economy becoming a good alternative for the massive deforestation.
Due to its versatile nature (it can be dyed in millions of bright colors), vegetable ivory is very popular expecially in jewelry.
Take a look at the creations of Leju Designs and you'll probably fall in love with all the magnificent shades...
Founded by Lenny Trines and Juan Munoz, a designer inspired by natural elements and a businness man, Leju is a London based society leader in ethical (and stylish) jewelry production. All the pieces from Leju are available to purchase online and the prices are quite affordable, though from 24th-28th September in the official London Fashion Week venue, they will also be part of London Fashion Weekend where their entire range will be on offer at up to 40% off: don't miss the date!