Socks. Christmas is a great time for socks. Every year I either receive a pair (or two) from a loving relative concerned about the temperature of my tootsies — or I buy a pair, usually to add to a man bundle of beer, peanuts and a tie for a male relative that proves otherwise impossible to buy for.
This year, however, there’s an even bigger incentive to buy socks: to help support gorilla conservation efforts in Rwanda. Introducing; Gorilla Socks.
These sustainable, eco-friendly, stylish socks (they’re made from viscose from bamboo) have been developed by Gianluca De Stefano and Gavin Kamara, who have partnered with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.
Their mission is to combine a sense of responsibility to support our planet, disadvantaged communities and the gorilla species with a love for colourful socks.
Inspired by Dian Fossey’s remarkable life and legacy, they have pledged to donate to the charity at least 10% from the sale of each pair of socks.
“We feel very strongly about the precarious situation of mountain gorilla and we think Gorilla Socks can be a great vehicle to raise vital funds to save the endangered species,” they explain. “Gorilla Socks are a very proud partner of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.”
Dian Fossey, funded by the National Geographic Society, set up a research camp in Rwanda in 1967 to study gorillas. She belonged to a collective of three women in the 1960s and ’70s chosen by Dr Louis Leakey — an archaeologist and paleoanthropologist concerned with understanding human evolutionary development — to study primates in order to establish their position in human evolution.
Known as The Trimates, Dian Fossey was charged with studying gorillas, Jane Goodall selected to research chimpanzees and Birute Galdikas observed orangutans. Dian’s story (and its controversies) is documented in the 1988 film, Gorillas in the Mist, and on Boxing Day 2017, National Geographic Channel will be showing a three-part documentary series ‘Secrets in the Mist‘, further exploring her time with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
Today, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is dedicated to the conservation and protection of gorillas and their habitats.
Choosing to buy from the Gorilla Socks range — which is supported by Dian’s former research assistant, Ian Redmond; today recognised as one of the world’s leading gorilla experts — means customers are helping the Fossey Fund with their integrated conservation model that includes:
- Daily Protection – to ensure that gorilla populations remain stable. Fossey Fund tracker and anti-poaching teams are in the forest 365 days a year protecting gorillas.
- Scientific Research – as the world’s longest running gorilla research site, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund uses cutting-edge science to understand gorillas and their habitats and develop effective conservation strategies.
- Educating Conservationists – the Fossey Fund’s educational programs equip the next generation of African scientists with the skills they need to address the conservation challenges of the future.
- Helping Communities – Effective conservation requires the support of local communities. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund works closely with the people who share the gorillas’ forest homes to address health, education and other critical needs.
Gorilla Socks currently have 6 styles of bamboo socks available, with 6 more due to join the range in January. Softer and stronger than cotton, bamboo socks do not fade like cotton socks — so they’re far more likely to last until next Christmas!
Learn more about Gorilla Socks by visiting: gorilla-socks.com.
Learn more about The Trimates
Want to know more about Dr Louis Leakey’s primate research team?
- Read about National Geographic’s ‘trimates’
- Listen to my conversation with Dr Jane Goodall about her career as a primatologist
- Read my discussion with Dr Jane Goodall about the Roots and Shoots programme
Want to know more about gorillas?