The Leonardo DiCaprio foundation has commissioned a series of bean bags and chairs inspired by endangered animals.
The cuddly collection by South African designer Porky Hefer’s features an orangutan, a pygmy sloth, a polar bear, a great white shark and a blue whale – all of which are listed as vulnerable or endangered by the World Wildlife Fund.
DiCaprio’s Foundation seeks to safeguard animals in their natural habitats, and debuted Hefer’s Endangered Collection at this year’s Design Miami/Basel fair.
At the fair, visitors were encouraged to sit on, and interact with, the oversized bags and hanging chairs the seats in attempt to “ignite a sense of empathy [for] the stories of the real animals’ hardships and the importance of their survival”.
Each piece has been made using sustainable materials – such as recycled polyester from plastic bottles – to, hopefully, start a wider conversation about the impact humans have on the environment.
“Looking after our animals and earth is one thing, but also the preservation of human skills, crafts and traditions,” said Hefer in a statement.
“I think it’s important to show what beauty humans are capable of with their hands rather than the destructive mass production that technology is driving the modern consumerist society towards,” he added.
Hefer collaborated with artisans from his native South Africa, working particularly closely with Cape town-based textile artist Ronel Jordaan and craft collectives Heart Works and Mielie on different crocheting, felting and stitching techniques.