If you’ve been in flip flops this summer, especially if you’ve been in Beasts flip flops, you’ll have trekked all over the place to soak up what sun there was I’m sure! But as we wave goodbye to the went-by-too-fast summer (sad face), and we turn to face the winter months ahead it seems we have some hibernating to do. What better way to get us through it all than some great animal kingdom flicks to enjoy from the comfort of home?
In keeping with the Beasts Footwear obsession for all things beastie-like, including conservation and raising awareness, our criteria for choosing the films came down to the portrayal of animals on screen and the ultimate messages behind the respective stories. We used the Born Free movie as inspiration for what great films about the animal kingdom should be like. So, without further ado…
5. March of the Penguins
If you haven’t watched this Morgan Freeman-narrated documentary about the Emperor Penguins making their journey to a breeding ground in the arctic, you are missing out on a heart-wrenching and heart-warming true life event that quite rightly earned an Oscar for its troubles. A beautiful triumph.
4. Gorillas in the Mist
A lost classic from the late eighties starring Sigourney Weaver in the true-life story of Dian Fossy who ventured into Africa to study the vanishing mountain gorillas, and later fought to protect them. If you see this film make sure you not only prepare yourself for sadness, but you bring a whole wad of Kleenex tissues too. It’s one of the saddest, most heart breaking true stories ever told on film. The amazing landscapes and the use of real gorillas make this simply a must-see. And what wonderful and remarkable beasts the gorillas truly are.
3. Two Brothers
For some reason, this film never found an audience yet it’s quite possibly one of the most stunningly realised live-action animal stories ever captured. It involves two tiger cubs separated at birth, both who go on to lead very different lives; one in captivity, the other in the wilds. This stellar motion picture perfectly portrays the bond that animals share between one another, likening them to us in so many ways, and it’s a really uplifting, epic adventure that persons of any age or background can appreciate, learn from and enjoy.
2. Fly Away Home
Another true story beautifully told charting the journey of a girl (Anna Paquin) and her father (Jeff Daniels) to lead a flock of orphaned geese south through the air by building a flying contraption. You’ll usually see this one on at Christmas time. It’s a real feel-good experience that shows just how much good one little girl can do, not just for animals and the natural world, but inspiring millions of people. This is an excellent story of moral conviction, the tenderness and power of the human spirit and uncompromising compassion; in fact, it’s just an excellent film full-stop.
The quintessential animal movie, which by far and wide, hits all the right notes and is at once hauntingly sad, hysterically funny, incredibly exciting and joyously moving. Babe goes from a lonely, orphaned piglet to the world’s first sheep-dog pig in this universal coming-of-age tale. The story transcends age groups making it a memorable experience for children, teens, adults and the elderly alike. It is the closest we will ever coming to living amongst and understanding animals through the on-screen medium of film. A masterpiece of imagination and tenderness.
Honorable mentions must also go to other animal related adventures such as Disney’s The Lion King, Aardman animation’s delightfully eccentric Chicken Run, the enduring classic Watership Down, the ultimate animal road movie Homeward Bound and the issue-driven family blockbuster, Free Willy. Hibernate with a few of these classics to keep you company this winter.
Beasts will leave you now with one of the best scenes from Babe:
It’s no surprise that when the World Wildlife Fund came to choosing an animal to appear on their logo, they chose the giant panda. Not only are these distinctively-marked endangered animals some of the most at risk of extinction, they are also some of the most lovable.
In fact it seems pandas are so endearing that they’ve started popping up everywhere in popular culture – and we’re not just talking about the pandas printed on Beasts’ very own designer flip flops. Today’s blog takes a look at the World’s most famous panda moments and reminds us exactly why Beasts are working so hard to aid the animal conservation movement and help protect these cuddly creatures through the sales of our flip flops.
First up is the adorable video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4dMnAPZu70&feature=related of fluffy panda babies frolicking playfully in the snow and the heartwarming sight of the little cubs bumping into each other on a specially set-up slide. Panda cubs are born blind and weighing only about 5 ounces, a tiny fraction of the size of a fully grown adult, and need the care of their mothers for the first year or more of their life to survive in the wild. That’s why panda hunting is such a huge problem, and why Beasts’ animal conservation efforts are so important to making sure babies like the ones in this clip live a long happy life.
Next up on the Panda A-list is the Hollywood Movie sensation, Kung Fu Panda. This family favourite film follows Po, an unlikely but loveable panda hero who seems more interested in eating than fighting, but who comes through to save the day in the end. Po may be a cartoon, but his love of food is definitely true of real life pandas, as Pandas must eat between 12-38kg of bamboo a day to survive.
Unfortunately, deforestation in their natural habitat and a rapidly shrinking supply of bamboo have left these hungry beasts massively at risk of starvation and placed them near the top of the list of endangered animals. Thankfully, just by wearing Beasts’ wildlife-print designer flip flops, you could help conserve their environment and make sure that the future includes real life pandas as well as the cartoon variety.
The next clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzRH3iTQPrk on the list is perhaps the most talked-about panda moment the Internet has ever seen. This hilarious scene of a squeaky sneezing baby panda and its surprised giant mother is one of the most viewed clips on youtube, proving the panda is one of our best-loved species. In fact if each of these viewers were to get hold of their very own pair of panda flip flops from Beasts, then we would be able to donate more than £100 million to the Born Free Foundation, a wildlife conservation charity which helps protect defenseless endangered animals like the Giant Panda.
Walking in flip flops this summer has never been cooler. Especially if you’re wearing the Polar Bear Beasts flip flops! These are Beasts Footwear most popular designer flip flops as the Polar Bear is a truly beautiful creature. Who can say they didn’t love those Coca Cola adverts with the Polar Bear cub?
Here is a list of fun facts that you might not have known about our ice cool friend the Polar Bear
1.Strict Parenting – Polar bear cubs remain absolutely still while their Mother Bear hunts for their food. If the cub moves, it will get a whack to the head from Mother Bear for disobeying. How’s that for disciplining your young?
2. Dispelling the myth – Polar Bear fur is not white! This may come as a surprise to your eyes, but each hair of the fur is in fact colourless and transparent. They only appear white because the hollow core of each individual strand scatters and reflects visible light, just like ice and snow does. This is how they blend in with their environment.
3. Slippin’ & Slidin’ – Polar Bears can tell when ice is thin and therefore to get across it, slide on their bellies, distributing their weight evenly to get to the other side. Seeing them do this can be quite an amusing sight.
4. Champion Swimmers – They can swim faster than any other four footed animal. They have been known to swim over 100 miles in one stretch.
5. Kiss from a Rose – Polar Bears like to eat Seal… not the singer.
6. Most Dangerous Animal – is us! We are the Polar Bear’s natural predator. That’s something we can change.
7. The Bear and the Whale – The Killer Whale is also a danger to the Polar Bear. They are in effect, mortal enemies.
8. Habitat destruction – Besides all the oil and coal mining that we carry out that destroys a Polar Bear’s habitat, global warming has increased the volume of summer meltwater on glaciers, which has weakened ice shelves.
9. Iconic – Polar Bear represent a symbol of purity, transformation and rebirth to native tribes. They view the Polar Bear as an animal who possesses ancient wisdom and has shamanic powers.
10. Ice Merchandise – the image of the Polar Bear can be seen used on so many promotional products and brands from Coca Cola to Iced Gems and sweets to mints to energy consortiums ad campaigns.
Beasts designer flip flops have taken the Polar Bear image and used it to try to do some good by promoting awareness of its plights, encouraging conservation and donating £1 from every pair of designer flip flops sold to the Born Free Foundation. Help preserve these amazing, majestic beasts from extinction. All you have to do is walk down to the beach this summer in flip flops from Beasts designer range.
1. Turtles have been on the Earth for over 200 million years. Their original ancestors from way back when were not all that different from the turtles of today but they evolved some time before mammals, other reptiles and birds.
2. Believe it or not but turtles can live for over one hundred years! In a way it evens out all that time it takes them to get places. There was one documented case about an Indian Ocean turtle that lived for roughly two hundred years. Now that’s old. I don’t suppose he got a letter from The Queen on his 100th birthday though.
3. You can find a turtle living on every single continent on the planet with the singular exception of Antarctica. Generally, turtles prefer warmer climates for breeding, so I guess we should count the United Kingdom out as well!
4. Every species of turtle lays eggs. The turtles that live in water have to crawl onto land, dig their nest and lay their eggs inside. What’s interesting here is that the turtles often return to the spots where they themselves hatched three or four decades previous. Talk about long memories. Once hatched, the baby turtles swim directly back out into the ocean. Only one out of one thousand sea turtles survive after hatching.
5. The shells that they are so famous for are much like human bones in that they grow as the turtle grows. It is a part of its skeleton.
6. Turtles follow the horizon to get back to the ocean. Sometimes the lights from houses, lampposts, cars and other man-made objects lead them off the path. This can often lead to them being lost, getting stuck in ditches or being hit by oncoming traffic. Most turtles don’t survive once they start going the wrong way.
7. Turtles have been the subject of writers, illustrators and storytellers for years. They are steeped in a deeply mythic significance and drenched in symbolism. They are respectively considered a symbol of wisdom by Africans, a female lunar symbol in Hindu culture, a representative of Hermes the Olympian God in Greek mythology and a pizza eating, ninja fighting mutant in contemporary American culture. Go figure!
8. Did you know that most turtles have five toes on each limb? They’ve been around long enough to know the benefits of dexterity we would think.
9. Dispelling one of the great myths: Some land turtles can actually out run a human on level ground. Now that is a sight we would like to see caught on video!
10. The turtle has outlived so many other species and has been around for so long it would be a real tragedy to see them disappear into the pages of history along with their old pals the dinosaurs. After all, our turtle friends were around to see the extinction of those particular beasts.
Here is a list of fun facts you may have not known about the African Elephant:
1. Beasts-footwear asks the question; do elephants really never forget? Perhaps that might be a bit of an overstatement, but it is true that they carry grudges. Research has proven that they react to the sight or scent of predators, abusers, and anyone or anything that has caused them harm in the past. In this sense, Elephants never forget enemies. So stay on their good side.
2. These are thoughtful mammals that form family groups not that dissimilar to the family structures we have as humans. They have the typical Mum and Dad figures with the rebellious male teenager who goes off on his own once he reaches sexual maturity. Male elephants “hang-out” with other male elephant groups which they leave periodically for mating rituals. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? You’ll even see different elephant families sharing resources together, almost like popping over to the neighbour’s to borrow the sugar!
3. Elephant trunks give Dustin Hoffman a run for his money! Beyond the practical uses such as feeding, drinking and communicating, the elephant trunk has many other unusual benefits and uses. It’s all muscle and no bones making it a pretty impressive appendage! They can go underwater and use their trunk as a snorkel to breathe. They are also known to suck on them for comfort much like you see young children do with their thumbs.
4. They eat… a lot. On average you’ll see them chow down for about 16 to 18 hours per day, every day. That’s a lot of grub. Similarly they’ll drink about 50+ gallons a day. Generally, they only get about 2 hours of sleep in any one 24 hour period.
5. Some elephants should have gone to Specsavers. Elephants cannot see clearly past a rough distance of 60 feet. Probably could do with some carrots in that massive diet. While their eyesight may be limited, their hearing is not. They use their feet to listen to the environment and pick up sub-sonic sounds through the vibrations in the ground. Pretty impressive, lends new meaning to the words “I can hear footsteps.” I guess they won’t be requiring any designer flip flops on their feet!
6. The differences between male and female elephant calves are striking. Males move away from the mother earlier, leaving to interact and play with other groups. Females, meanwhile, stay very close to their mothers and the family unit, engaging in more interactions and activities. Either way, they look adorable in their infant years. You wouldn’t think that they would grow to such leviathan sizes.
7. You know how people are either left-handed or right-handed? Well, elephants are either right-tusked or left-tusked. They use one side over another just like we do.
8. A female’s pregnancy can last up to 22 months before the birth. This is one trait that humans definitely don’t share as any prospective mothers out there will be relieved to hear.
9. Take a look at those large elephant ears. Weirdly enough, they resemble the map of Africa. It’s an odd coincidence but the ear shape is very close to the shape of the continent they roam across. If you ever see those big ears flap like mad, they’re not trying to pull a Dumbo and take off in flight, but merely helping themselves to cool down.
10. All elephants each have their own personalities. No one elephant thinks or necessarily reacts the same as another would. They can grow attachments to certain fellow elephants, or people, or places, or objects. Their human traits are often comparably surprising considering the sizeable differences between them and us.
And there you have it; the larger than life facts from the Elephant kingdom. Be seen in flip-flops with our African Elephant design this summer and help support us and the endangered animals of the world.
Giant Pandas, Polar Bears, Marine Turtles; what do these creatures have in common with the African Elephant? They are all endangered species and facing potential extinction. You might wonder exactly how they all connect to designer flip flops. Well, this is an issue that strongly underscores the ideology of Beasts footwear; conservation, preservation and promoting awareness. Beasts designer flip flops have made it our mission to try to make a real difference through gradual degrees and it all starts, believe it or not, with you actually walking in flip flops!
We all share and inhabit this Earth alongside our wild friends, and it is our responsibility to ensure their existence continues, especially when the threat comes from our actions or inactions in the first place! So, some history on the African Elephant;
The African Elephant is a truly magnificent beast with a majestic grace and a kind heart. This breed of Elephant is particularly intelligent, sharing traits similar to humans and apes. It’s most defining feature, beyond its overwhelming size, are its tusks and trunk. The trunk is a fusion of the nose and upper lip acting as the Elephant’s most essential and versatile appendage… a bit like Dustin Hoffman’s nose in that way…. The trunk can rip the branches from a tree clean-off one minute and then tenderly pick up a single blade of grass for its nutritional diet the next. It is their lifeline to survival. It’s how they drink, how they smell and how they communicate with one another.
The tusks are used for digging, scoring the bark of trees, defending against predators and for fighting during mating season. The tusk of course is what has inadvertently led to their decreasing numbers. Poachers make a great deal of money from the ivory of an Elephant tusk and this is the primary motivation behind the hunting.
According to research, in 1970 the estimated Elephant population was 400,000, and as of 2006 they had dwindled to only 10,000. This drop in the African Elephant population within a mere thirty years is a shocking statistic, and the conservation of these beautiful creatures is nominally backed by the government. The ivory trade can literally decimate an Elephant population.
This is where Beasts footwear derives its inspiration from for our designer flip flop ranges. The African Elephant is one of the threatened species on our list and on our designer flip flops that needs support and a conduit that can deliver its cry for help to others. That’s what Beasts footwear hopes to accomplish. We believe in the cause so much that we have based our entire range of products on the beautiful beasts of this world that are threatened with being taken out of it. This is why a simple walk down the beach in flip flops can make a big difference. Together we can create a tribe that can walk on the wild side, in designer flip flops of course, and still promote the conservation of our favourite beasties around the world! Simples!
We have looked at the Giant Panda and the Polar Bear in the two previous blogs in an attempt to address the issues concerning their endangered species statuses, and to highlight the reasons that Beasts footwear has modelled its designs around these wonderful creatures.
This blog is all about the Marine Turtle, more specifically the Hawksbill; a gracefully slow-moving, kind-eyed omnivore that has become a critically endangered species. The Hawksbill’s natural habitat is predominantly tropical coral reefs but they are considered a highly migratory species, and have not been known to stay in one place very long. For a creature considered slow, they do get around a lot!
If you were to meet a Hawksbill up close and personal you would notice its flipper-like arms, flattened body and protective carapace (which is the dorsal convex part of the turtle’s shell). The reason this particular breed of marine turtle stands out is for its curved beak that is almost bird-like in appearance (perhaps where their name originated from). Hawksbills may be ocean-bound most of the time by they are partial to land too.
The turtle has long been a symbol of patience and wisdom… and slowness! Throughout history they have been an emblem of longevity in many cultures and societies as they often have very long life spans. They are peaceful creatures and could be fairly described as the “Buddhists of the Sea.”
Unfortunately, the peaceful are always the ones who suffer the most persecution, and the Hawksbill turtle is no exception here. Human fishing practices have plundered this species onto the endangered list and pushed them to the very real brink of extinction. The reason for this is mostly to do with their shells that are used for decorative purposes. These practices have been since outlawed, so that the capture of Hawksbill turtles can be considered an illegal act. It is in fact, against the law to kill or harass the Hawksbill, and the importing and exporting of turtle products has been banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Ironically, their long life spans and slow growth actually work against them. The Hawksbill has a slow reproductive rate and this does not help their survival in the face of potential eradication. The encroachment of humans and other animals on their nesting sites only adds to the problem.
As the turtle has, albeit inadvertently, become our bastion of peace and wisdom in the human world, it is appropriate that the Hawksbill’s image continues to represent the long journeys we take through this wild world. The marine turtle designer flip flops are at once a symbol and a message conveying the idea that no matter how long it takes you to get somewhere, by foot or by sea; the slow journeys are the ones worth taking for they lead you towards wisdom, enlightenment and peace.
If you have taken a journey wearing our designer flip flops please do share your adventures with the community. If you’re anything like the Hawksbill, you take your time getting somewhere because there is so much to see, so much to learn and so much to cherish along the way. Mr. Hawksbill, we here at Beasts salute you!
Now that isn’t something you don’t see everyday in the local park… a big ape!
Maybe some of you have seen this already, but we just love it and wanted to share it with you again!
This enooorrrrrmous colourful monkey made entirely from flip flops is the work of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, who constructed the installation as part of the Pixel Design Congress in November last year in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Made with the help of local students by covering a huge inflatable ape with over 10,000 pairs of coloured flip flops, each flip flop representing an individual pixel.
Now that’s a lot of rubber!
Hofman’s other work also involves semi-collaborative performances involving local communities, such as 210 paper sparrows in a glasshouse in Amsterdam’s Botanical Gardens, and a giant rabbit sculpture in Vlaardingen made from salvaged wood, nails and screws!
There is something very innocent about many of the subjects Hofman chooses in his work and the bright colours he uses to finish them. The monkey for example looks like a huge floppy child’s toy laying on the ground having been dis guarded after play. He takes childlike objects and blows them up on a huge scale, then positions them completely out of their normal context, creating a huge impact. We love it!
Beasts footwear has a conscience about the world we all live in and a particular soft spot for the animals we share it with. Especially those that are classed as endangered. It’s why we use the faces of these beautiful creatures on our designer flip flops!
Following on from the previous blog that detailed a profile all about the Giant Panda, this blog seeks to continue in this series of identifying the animals we care so much about. This week, it’s all about the ice cap king, the Polar Bear. Now this is our idea of a cool customer!
The Polar Bear is most recognisable to western audiences as the mascot for Coca-Cola around Christmas time, or possibly even to fans as the roaming island beastie from the television show LOST! Our white-furred friend is largely native to the Arctic Circle and is known throughout the world as the biggest carnivore on land. The ecological characteristics that make-up a Polar Bear are that they are built for coldest and harshest conditions you can imagine. The wonderful aspect of Polar Bear lifestyles is that they are fit for traversing both the tough landscapes of endless ice caps and the below freezing temperatures of the harsh waters; these bears are competing with the Navy Seals as the finest experts on handling land and sea operations. This is in fact where their name comes from. Not the Navy Seals of course, but the word polar itself originated from the old name of Maritime Bear. A creature based in the ocean.
So why are these beautiful beasts endangered? Well, I’m afraid that is almost entirely down to us. Silly people. Polar Bears were hunted for centuries by different cultures for different purposes. Only in recent history have controls and regulations been enforced to preserve the Polar Bear populations. At present, the Polar Bear population is in decline. This is less to do with hunting and almost entirely down to global warming. The World Conservation Union has researched that this vulnerable species will see a population reduction of 30% in the next three generations. That’s little more than 45 years from now. The major contributing factor to this creature’s potential extinction from global warming, beyond the pollution factor, is malnutrition and starvation. This happens due to the loss of their habitats through the ice shelves breaking away, causing the Bears to land ashore prematurely before they have collected the necessary fat stores to survive periods of limited food in the late summer.
Beasts’ concern is for this beast’s longevity and existence. There is no way we could sit idly by knowing these facts and not join the cause to raise awareness and promote conservation. We continue to support and donate £1 from every pair of designer flip flops sold to the Born Free Foundation for this very reason.
Beasts footwear has found a way to keep these issues alive and in conversation. We want you to join the tribe, support the causes and share your opinions and stories with us. Find your way into our community and get a pair of Polar-rising designer flip flops to show your support!
Beasts footwear believes in sharing its passions and values with a community that cares. In this blog, the focus of that will be on the beautiful Giant Panda.
Most people are aware that the Panda is on the brink of extinction, and although it is commonly mistaken as an animal, it is in fact a mammal… just like us! Their distinctive black and white coat of fur is a defining characteristic, but sadly, so too are the issues surrounding their potential extinction.
Giant Pandas are native to China and Tibet and they are revered within the respective cultures. A Giant Panda’s natural habitat is the rainforest where their diets consist primarily of bamboo; the leaves, shoots and stems. If only human diets and appetites were that healthy! Pandas are great climbers and are mostly active during the daytime; however, they are solitary creatures.
Perhaps, the reason why they are so loved by people is that through their undeniably cute appearance and benign nature they resemble living teddy bears. While they can be incredibly docile, they can also be irritated or disturbed by the presence of people. Remember, they are known for liking their alone time! That is something that doesn’t change when they’re in captivity either.
The sad fact is that Giant Pandas are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as ‘endangered.’ This is due to the destruction of their habitats where they live, breathe and play. Imagine if the world you lived in, the freedom you played in and the family you came from was slowly stripped away from you. This is the awful truth facing the Giant Pandas today. Their very existence is threatened by the plundering of the rainforests and their very low birth rate, in the wild and in captivity. So each time a baby Panda is born, it truly is a wonderful thing.
Beasts footwear has an absolute adoration and admiration for this amazing creature that has survived natural obstructions, human cruelties, and a continued victimisation, even if through default, by our destruction of the rainforest.
This is a pivotal time in the Panda’s existence and the only way to ensure its continued survival is sustained conservation and protection. Through our specially designed designer flip flops, our goal is to make sure people understand the frailties of the natural world that we all share, and through the passing of that torch of knowledge down through the generations, the Giant Panda may be given a chance to survive another century.
As many of our current flip flop wearing friends know every time they purchase a pair of our designer flip flops, £1 is donated to the wonderful Born Free Foundation. Who knew that by purchasing a pair of designer flip flops with a Panda on them could do so much good in the world and help support the Giant Panda and other endangered species who need to be protected.
If you’re interested in helping the Giant Panda survive, then why not think about buying a pair of designer flip flops for your holiday this year?