Model Doutzen Kroes Talks “Knot On My Planet” Campaign


Hilary Weaver, Vanity Fair

Date Published

See link for campaign video.

The old adage “an elephant never forgets” has been thrown around for generations, but model Doutzen Kroes keeps it in mind a lot these days. She’s lending her voice to a new initiative that launches today called Knot On My Planet; it’s the product of more than a year’s work for the model, whose mission is to put an end to the ivory crisis and elephant extinction. When Kroes first visited Samburu, Kenya, and interacted with the elephant population there, she said she knew she needed to take action as soon as possible.

“[The elephant crisis] has been a very hot topic on the news lately as well—almost a third of the population is gone in the last decade,” she said in a September 8 phone call to “It’s really something to worry about. That’s why it’s so important to do this campaign; we have to raise awareness that ivory should not be a product anymore. It’s something that should be looked at that is disgusting. Elephants are being slaughtered just for that, just for their tusks, and just being left. It’s such a sad thing to see and to even think about.”

The campaign’s name—though catchy—has a very specific purpose. Fashion influencers will incorporate a knot into their photos on social media to remind people to donate to the Elephant Crisis Fund, which has a fundraising goal of $15 million. The money goes straight to efforts to stop poaching, trafficking, and the demand for ivory.

Kroes told that the voices who have joined the initiative, including Candice Swanepoel, Cara Delevingne, and Adriana Lima have the power to reach people who aren’t aware of the ivory crisis. Kroes says that now the campaign has up to 50 people on board.

“Every day I wake up with text messages from the team saying, ‘This person’s involved.’ If I talk to people about this, they get excited and they want to help. It’s been just so amazing to see how generous fashion can be and what a force it can be.”

But the first people she got incorporated into in her elephant efforts are perhaps the smallest in her life: her two children, who joined her on her trip in Kenya. Although they are both too young to understand extinction, Kroes said it was important to her to show them the beauty of the natural world, and of elephants. She said that when they are old enough, though, she will explain the dangers of poaching to them.

“I think what’s so incredible about kids, it’s that to them, this is something that is so unrealistic. They would be like, ‘Why?’ If you can’t explain anything to a child, then it must be really something stupid. Of course you can’t explain why they would kill for tusks … There’s no logical answer to it.”