I hadn’t expected it. My reaction. I mean, I’d seen hundreds of photos and video clips. I knew they were as common as mice. But...in that moment I suddenly felt a childhood dream - I hadn’t even know it was there - taking me back to the wonder and awe of an earlier me.
Kangaroo. In the grass. Real. Wild. Lit by the sun. I teared up; then laughed at myself...so ridiculous! But I saw the entire continent of Australia in front of me in that quirky, lopsided creature.
Australia is a traveller’s dream: endless beaches, open spaces, exotic animals. A world away, yet easy to fall into a rhythm of belonging. The brash, friendly people and shared language allow for a sense of ease that settles the visitor into that relaxed feeling of looking at a dark sky full of stars.
Time spent in Oz creates a link between you and this amazing place. The wonder of the creatures has never faded for me and, despite years having gone by since my time there, I find memories of exploring the vast land return and inspire me frequently. When brainstorming a design for a traveller’s hoodie with an inner smartphone pocket sewn into the kangaroo style front pouch, the name was already there: the “Hidden Joey”. Baby kangaroos, called “joeys”, nestle safely in their mom’s front pouch. That’s exactly what this inner second pocket is meant for: keeping a smartphone safe and secure, easy to grab and to keep tabs on.
Thanking the joeys didn't even cross my mind. But, coincidentally, within weeks of our hoodie launch, I heard about forest fires in Australia. Loss to wildlife and their habitat has left many surviving joey orphans of kangaroos who didn’t escape the blaze. Found in their mother’s pouches, many joeys have been rescued and are being cared for by the International Foundation for Animal Welfare, IFAW.
And here’s the kick: they have launched “Project Pouch”, a shout out to the public to donate pouches for the orphaned joeys. I couldn't not do it!
Enthusiastically, I pulled out the many piles of excess fabric I’ve been hoarding over the years and started a search: super soft cotton, fun prints….finally a great use for it! Before long I had put together several pouches in various sizes. Simple to sew and fun to get creative, I am thrilled to donate and be able to give back directly to the creatures who inspired me!
IFAW, founded in 1969, rescues and protects animals around the world with projects in over 40 countries. They work to sustain habitats and healthy animal populations while promoting awareness of the interconnectedness of people, animals, and the environment.
Feeling inspired to dust off your machine, pull out some old fabric, and sew up a pouch?
Find more information about IFAW and Project Pouch at:
Check out the Hidden Joey women’s hoodie at: https://www.kaikuna.com/collections/jackets
Proud to be a member of 1% for the planet. 1% for the Planet’s mission is to build, support and activate an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet.
by Julie MacDonald
photography by Allan Weston & Julie MacDonald
All Rights Reserved 2015 Kaikuna Clothing