Initiative

Lacoste x IUCN SOS

Lacoste
Lacoste logo
Burmese roofed turtle hatchling in Myanmar
Image credit: Myo Min Win & Wildlife Conservation Society

Launched during Paris Fashion Week in 2018, the first Lacoste X IUCN Save Our Species campaign consisted of creating 10 limited edition designs of polo shirts, where its iconic crocodile logo left its historic spot to make way for 10 of the most critically endangered species in the world. The objective was to raise awareness and much needed funds. The number of polo-shirts per design available corresponded to the number of known remaining individuals left in the wild for each species.

Using an integrated media campaign featuring social media influencers, the limited-edition polo-shirts sold out within 24 hours! The campaign went viral on social media and quickly jumped into mainstream press, resulting in worldwide television coverage in a matter of days. 

The campaign ended up collecting an unprecedented ten Cannes Lions Advertising awards, which testified to its originality in terms of execution, messaging and effectiveness. The Lacoste X IUCN Save Our Species capsule collections demonstrate how a company can integrate species conservation into its core business in a way that delivers on its corporate objectives whilst standing up for nature. The Mexican government even wrote to thank Lacoste for raising awareness of the Vaquita’s plight.

Lacoste and IUCN Save Our Species replicated the global campaign in 2019, this time launching on the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22. Featuring another ten critically endangered species, Lacoste’s crocodile not only gave up its spot in the shirts but also across their brand. For one day only, nine Lacoste stores worldwide as well as the online shop got a makeover, and featured the threatened species in their retail space. Following the campaign, a Call for Proposals opened for projects targeting any of the ten species and two winning projects got awarded with the Lacoste funds: a project to protect the Critically Endangered Burmese Roofed Turtle and a project to protect the Critically Endangered Mountain Chicken.

Ten threatened species, ten special polos

The species were selected from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ and included insects, freshwater fish, amphibians, mammals and birds, highlighting the diversity of wildlife in need of conservation. The number of shirts produced for each species corresponded to the estimated number of individuals remaining in the wild. All profits from the sale of all items went to IUCN to help conserve threatened wildlife.

Species featured in the 2019 campaign:

Name of Species

Estimated population*

Red list status

Hawaiian Monk Seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi)

1,400

Endangered

Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus)

589

Endangered

North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis)

444

Endangered

Moheli Scops-owl (Otus moheliensis)

400

Endangered

Yemeni Mouse-tailed Bat (Rhinopoma hadramauticum)

150

Endangered

Opal Goodeid (Allotoca maculata)

150

Critically Endangered

Mountain Chicken (Leptodactylus fallax)

132

Critically Endangered

Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus krefftii)

115

Critically Endangered

Addax (Addax nasomaculatus)

90

Critically Endangered

Cebu Damselfly (Risiocnemis seidenschwarzi )

50

Critically Endangered

Species featured in the 2018 campaign:

Name of Species

Estimated population*

Red list status

Anegada Ground Iguana (Cyclura pinguis)

450

Critically Endangered

Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. Sumatrae)

350

Critically Endangered

Saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis)

250

Critically Endangered

California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus)

231

Critically Endangered

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila)

157

Critically Endangered

Cao-vit Gibbon (Nomascus nasutus)

150

Critically Endangered

Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)

67

Critically Endangered

Northern Sportive Lemur (Lepilemur septentrionalis)

50

Critically Endangered

Burmese Roofed Turtle (Batagur trivittata)

40

Critically Endangered

Vaquita (Phocoena sinus)

30

Critically Endangered

* Estimated number of individuals remaining in the wild at the time of the campaign

Image credit: Myo Min Win & Wildlife Conservation Society