For those who love to both explore and protect the planet, travel gifts that give back to the world are perfect.

Indeed, as we become more and more conscious of the effect our wanderlust has on the Earth’s future, the more we rejoice when we see causes that champion eco-conscious travel.

Oliver Tomalin, founder of LOVE BRAND & Co., is a fantastic example of this. After learning how urgent the threat of elephant extinction is – potentially within the next 25 years – he was inspired to combine his love of travel with his passion for protecting our planet’s gentle giants. The result was simple, yet effective: Trunks for Trunks.

Setting up shop in London, LOVE BRAND & Co. creates unique men’s and children’s beachwear, and donates 5% of the revenue to conservation charity projects. One of the charities the company works for is Tusk Trust, supported by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, which helps fight poaching and promotes education in Kenya and across the African continent.

LOVE BRAND & CO. Travel Gifts

The best part, though? Not only will LOVE BRAND & Co. make you feel good, but look good too. Created out of unique fabric prints, the relaxed-fitting-yet-smart-looking shirts and shorts have an effortless sense of style that are ideal attire for strolling along the sands and taking it easy at the beach bar.

Making perfect Christmas travel gifts for anyone who is never without a holiday to look forward to, we spoke to Oliver Tomalin to find out more about LOVE Brand & Co. how travel and conservation can work together.

Travel gifts with LOVE BRAND & Co.

Hi Oliver. Tell us about the Trunks For Trunks Concept and how it got started.

Elephant Family was the charity that first made me aware of how seriously endangered elephants are. They exhibited painted elephants all over London in 2010. I was shocked to learn that they could be entirely extinct in the wild within the next 25 years. I was, at this time, planning to launch a new swimwear brand, so I decided to dedicate my swimming trunks to helping save elephants: a concept I called ‘Trunks for Trunks’.

What inspires your designs?

I previously trained in architectural design, which does bare influence on my work as a swimwear designer. My style philosophy is not too dissimilar to my thoughts on architecture. For me, a good building is one that that not only works well and is great to be in, but one that is loved by people that experience it. Similarly, I think clothes should be great to wear, comfortable, cool and make you feel great.

Travel gifts from LOVE BRAND & Co.

The prints are inspired by nature, summer, travels and fun trends. The forms, usually animals or motifs, are scaled and repeated to create subtle and sophisticated effects. From afar, the prints are awash with colour, and on closer inspection, layers of playful narrative appear, sometimes with optical illusions. LOVE BRAND & Co. trunks aren’t just another pair of swimming shorts; the trunk drawstrings have tusk motifs on the end, symbolic of the brand’s unwavering commitment to saving elephants. Quality, fit and attention-to-detail are all key to LOVE BRAND & Co.’s effortless and timeless style.

How do you think travel and conservation can work together?

At LOVE BRAND & Co., we believe travel and conservation can work together through participation and awareness. We are constantly seeking for engaging and innovative ways to encourage both of these.

Obviously, not everybody can commit to a committedly hands-on approach to conservation, so we always encourage people to promote the awareness of the issues endangered wildlife is facing in any way they can. Just wearing the LOVE BRAND & Co. product and talking to friends on holiday helps people be mindful of wildlife conservation. With the benefits of social media and high-speed internet, beautiful high-quality content can be distributed and shared online to tell exciting travel stories which carry an educational message.

“Just wearing the LOVE BRAND & Co. product and talking to friends on holiday helps people be mindful of wildlife conservation.”

– Oliver Tomalin

Where is your favourite place to see animals in their natural habitat?

Fortunately, today there are still many incredible pockets of the world that are still completely wild. In Africa, one favourite is Lewa in Northern Kenya. Lewa Wilderness Camp is one of Kenya’s original bush homes, located in the breathtakingly beautiful Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya’s Meru County. In the foothills of Mount Kenya, it takes some beating, and it is home to a lot of conservation projects we support at LOVE BRAND & Co. through our charity partner, Tusk Trust.

Are there any elephant encounters you have experienced that stand out in your mind?

One I remember fondly is when my wife and I visited the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi. We spent the day with the orphan elephants, walking with them, feeding them and playing with them. We were lucky to meet Daphne Sheldrick and the entire family and team who have been managing the Trust’s main activity of rescuing, hand-rearing and rehabilitating orphaned elephants back into the wild. Being able to see first-hand the incredible work they do and how LOVE BRAND & Co. is helping was amazing.

Song Saa Private Island
Song Saa Private Island

What tips would you suggest to those eco-conscious travellers who want to lend a helping hand to the places they visit?

I love Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia, which is pioneering an ethical luxury hospitality movement. Eco-conscious travellers are able to share their passion for wildlife and help local projects whilst situated in one of the most beautiful resorts in Southeast Asia. The founders, Rory and Melita, have managed to create an ethics-led business, which acts as a positive and profitable agent of change. It is currently developing a bio-reserve, over 200 hectares in size, outside Siem Reap. This will include a Song Saa resort, ecological and cultural conservation initiatives and a solar project that will supply power to rural communities.

Feeling Inspired?

To discuss your eco-conscious travel experience next year, please call our expert Travel Consultants on 01244 897 578 or visit elegantresorts.co.uk for our full portfolio.