The Elephant in the Room is a well-known English idiom referring to an obvious truth that is being ignored or not properly addressed. This could be anything. Serious. Minor. Even something in between. Words like injustice, inequality, Africa and numerous others get banded about but does anything actually happen? Take poverty for example. If we think of poverty as an elephant, then it would be the world’s largest elephant in one of Ikea’s smallest rooms yet poverty is nothing new. In fact, this elephant has been around for almost as much time as to see a Wolly Mammoth; the predecessor to the elephant itself. Yet just as poverty remains, so too does the elephant, growing in size as politicians, commentators and members of the public talk about equality and ethics. As with all things that find themselves in small places for a long time, they are not easily removed. They cannot be simply erased from history with the signing of an agreement or conception of an idea. But they can be enticed outside, in the hope that one day, they may not be the infamous elephant in the room. Whilst others may appear in varying sizes, the more elephants we move outside the better. Nobody likes seeing a trapped elephant. Added to that, any additional brownie points with the WWO is always a good thing.
Recently I have become involved with an organisation that seeks to put the elephant outside. It does not pretend to change the planet or adopt any of the other Miss World attributes that are so commonly mentioned and sparingly achieved. It simply tries to acknowledge the size of the elephant in light of the fact that it exists in an increasingly smaller room.
It’s name is ElephantBranded and the idea is simple. One for One. You buy one ethically made, recycled bag or related product and we give one ergonomically designed school bag and kit to a child in Africa or Asia. Simple as that. We pay a fair, competitive wage to local villagers who make our bag out of locally sourced, recycled materials. Not only do they get a fair, reasonable wage but they also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills that permit them to have a sustainable, effective way to get out of poverty. Then we sell it to people like you. At this stage it gets exciting. Each bag has a unique number that enables you to see everything. All you have to do is to visit our website (we’re sending our first wave of bags now so it will all happen soon), type in the number and you can see who made your bag, where it comes from and then, most importantly, the little person who your donation bag has gone to. So far as we know, nobody else does that and it is something we are very proud of. For a better idea of what we are all about, please check out the video below or click on one of the links. The Elephant has just stepped outside. Now we have to keep him there.