Love Brand & Co.'s Oliver Tomlan and Victoria Aspinall of The Aspinall Foundation
A Conservation Christmas
This holiday season, Chantecaille is thrilled to join forces with Love Brand & Co. for a special holiday pop-up shop at their marvelous Park Walk shop. Joining together like-minded brands that give back, this limited-time engagement will support The Aspinall Foundation and their incredible conservation work. We chatted with Love Brand & Co. founder Oliver Tomalin and Victoria Aspinall about the inspiration for the event and their commitment to conservation.
What are you most looking forward to at the holiday pop-up? How did the idea come to life?
OT: I love the idea of brands working together for a bigger cause. Through collaboration and working together we can get to where we need to be much faster. I'm looking forward to sharing with our audiences our collective belief about luxury being more than just a beautiful product, it is about a beautiful state of mind. Creating beautiful things in a responsible way that are imbued with kind values. I love joining forces with brands that share these ideals.
VA: We love partnering with brands with the same conservation ethos as us. It was actually Oliver who reached out to collaborate with us on their new gorilla print swim shorts, and from there we expanded the idea of a pop-up that would involve other like-minded brands including Chantecaille and Tada and Toy amongst others. We want people to buy gifts that truly make a difference by giving back to worthwhile conservation projects.
“Since day one we have given back to elephant conservation and over the decade we have helped all sorts of projects and species from rhinos to sharks to seagrass and now gorillas.”
Animals at Howlett's, the Aspinall's home and animal reserve
Oliver, tell us about your latest gorilla design for Love Brand & Co!
I love designing prints that tell a story, every Love Brand & Co. print has a connected conservation story behind it. Gorilla Gossip is my latest print inspired by the conservation work of The Aspinall Foundation saving west lowland gorillas. Gorilla Gossip, like most of my prints from afar, is not immediately obvious. The graphic prints appear like smart patterns but on closer inspection, you can discover animals and motifs that tell a story of our partnership and my inspirations from nature and my travels.
Can you tell us about how conservation became your passion?
OT: I remember being on Safari as a young boy and seeing elephants in the wild. And ever since, elephants have been a favourite animal of mine. Growing up all over the world, I developed a curiosity and love of travel from a young age. I love discovering different places and enjoying the wildlife that played a part in that.
Since day one we have given back to elephant conservation and over the decade we have helped all sorts of projects and species from rhinos to sharks to seagrass and now gorillas. And the privilege of working with amazing wildlife charities and building the brand to become a powerful communicator on behalf of these animals is truly important to me.
VA: My life today at Howletts (the Aspinall family home, where over 350 animals live) is very much dominated by animals, and I love it! I have always loved animals growing up (with cats, dogs, horses, etc at home) but today I have the most incredible privilege of looking after everything from lions, tigers, elephants, gorillas, rhinos and many more! I have learnt so much from the keepers at our reserves, who dedicate their lives to the animals. They really do amazing work, and their passion is next to none.
A silverback gorilla & Love Brand & Co. merchandise
Victoria, do you have a favorite animal at Howlettes?
I have been extremely fortunate to play foster mum to a wolf cub, baby gorilla, lion and cheetah cubs. Looking after them 24/7 until they are big enough to rewild has been an absolutely incredible experience. As for favourites–they all have their own personality and so there is absolutely no way can I pick a one!
“Those that work with animals need the same recognition as those in healthcare. They truly are amazing people.”
What do you wish more people understood about conservation?
OT: I believe everyone needs to see that their health and idea of a good life are directly linked to the health and stability of the planet. I still think people are too far removed from nature, they cannot see how directly linked we are to it. How we need it and rely on its preservation.
We recently worked on a wonderful project protecting Posidonia Sea Grass this summer. Known as the lungs of oceans, it is one of the world’s most effective carbon sinks yet it is being destroyed by warming seas and boats anchoring. We are working to preserve and regenerate this seagrass that keeps seas crystal clear and supports a whole host of wildlife. These seemingly small things that no one really knows about and might damage unknowingly can have huge impacts on the health of our planet.
VA: Just how cruel humans can be and how difficult it is to enforce change in behavior. People need to understand more about in-situ conservation rather than caging up animals and putting them in zoos. I also don’t think people understand the dedication, passion and hard work of anyone in the industry–those that work with animals need the same recognition as those in healthcare. They truly are amazing people.
Chantecaille Philanthropy Cheek Shade, Luminescent Eye Shade and Tada & Toy Animal Charm Bracelets
How will you spend your holidays this year?
VA: We were hoping to travel to Africa in the new year to see some rewilding sites for our lions, and visit the Sheldrick Trust in Kenya where we plan to rewild our herd of 14 elephants from Howletts next year. Unfortunately, Covid has ruined these plans, so it will be a quiet family Christmas with the animals at Howletts.
OT: Normally I might have said we are going to the Caribbean or South Africa. But this year my wife and 2 children and I moved to the Bahamas. This is now where we live, so in quite the opposite fashion we are craving the cold! We are in England for Christmas with our families, all together.
Love Brand & Co.
5 Park Walk, London SW10 0AJ
December 11th - 18th
+44 (0) 2973738338
MON - SAT: 09:00 - 18:00
SUN: 12:00 - 18:00