WWF’s Talking Polar Bears, Leopards, Monkeys, and Luxury Goods

As Hollywood goes green, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) goes Hollywood – or not. This Friday’s release of New Line Cinema’s The Golden Compass, a fantasy adventure film starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, forges a "very organic partnership" with the WWF. New Line’s efforts with the WWF seek to peak awareness about the impact of global warming on animals and inspire audiences to action.

Based on the 1996 book by Philip Pullman from his trilogy for young adultsHis Dark Materials, the distopian movie follows an orphan on a quest in an alternate universe, where a political/religious dictatorship threatens the world and people manifest animal spirits who talk (with voices from Ian McKellen, Ian McShane, and Kathy Bates), and wear armor (if only it were so easy to fend off melting polar caps).

Meanwhile, the movie attracted attacks from the Catholic League, which published a warning pamphlet with accusations of an atheist agenda. Maybe the hubbub will bring attention to the intended agenda about tyranny, freedom of expression, the protection of endangered animals, and saving the planet.

Besides a PSA for WWF by Kidman and the other actors, New Line has posted a website letting fans “adopt” real-life versions of the animals featured in the film which the World Wildlife Fund works to protect, and a sweepstakes offering a chance to win a trip to Canada to view polar bears in their natural habitat.

On the other side of the pond, the WWF in the UK released a report, Deeper Luxury: Quality and Style When the World Matters, analyzing the environmental impact of luxury goods and addressing the issue of sustainable consumption. It questions ten brands’ eco-standards, ethical and social responsibility, suggesting that “authentic” luxury provides positive contributions for people and the planet.

The report ranks companies such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Tiffany & Co., with L’Oreal squeezing out a C+ (the highest score) and others not even achieving passing grades. WWF also launches the “Star Charter,” requesting that celebrities not hawk low-scoring products (i.e.: Sienna Miller’s association with Tod’s), as a commitment to being consistent with their environmental concerns and acting as real role models. “Future Makers” include Tesla Motors, Linda Loudermilk and Oslen fashions, John Hardy jewelry, Osisu furniture, and Mata de Sesimbra tourism. So stuff your green goods inside an Anya Hindmarch “I’m NOT a plastic bag” bag when shopping.

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