LVMH Acquires Luxury Travel's Belmond Hotels | Will Bernard Arnault Help Save The Elephants

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AOC awoke Saturday morning to news that LVMH has set in motion the acquisition of Belmond Hotels. “Belmond, a fast-growing company based in London, offers its wealthy customers some of the most opulent travel experiences money can buy in settings like the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro and Orient Express trains connecting major European cities,” wrote The New York Times.

LVMH, the world’s largest luxury company based on revenues from brands like Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Fendi, offered to pay $25 a share for Belmond, a premium of more than 40 percent on the company’s closing price, in a deal valued at $2.6 billion.

The deal emphasized the limitless financial resources available to the world’s very rich customers. as well as the ongoing move away from buying ‘things’ and the growing appetite for ‘experiences’. This transition to the value of ‘experiences’ is pronounced among the entire younger generation, regardless of income, and dovetails well with their environmental concerns over accumulating more stuff.

Perhaps it was no coincidence that Friday’s Porter Edit had a sponsored post from Belmond Africa, based in South Africa and Botswana. The luxury hotel jumping off point gave us an opportunity to update the hot topic of the well-being of Botswana’s elephants, the largest elephant population in Africa and one that has been relatively stable until disputed reports of almost 90 dead elephants hit headlines in September.

One of the greatest conservation challenges in Africa is the cost of upgrading the continent’s parks and employing the resources to fight animal poaching. As many African leaders are quick to note, Europeans, Americans and other armchair conservationists are are more concerned about elephants and lions than African babies. AOC finds it difficult to dispute the assertion.

In October 2018, researchers put a price on protecting Africa’s wildlife at a minimum of $1.2 billion each year.

Our mind is always big picture at AOC — along with connecting dots — so of course the first question that came to mind after reading about the LVMH acquisition of Belmond Hotels was wondering how Bernard Arnault help help save the world’s elephants and other big game.

Conservationists argue that luxury hotels, capitalizing on the beauty and majesty of Africa’s wildlife, simply must become a source of revenue and creative policy making in keeping wildlife alive. LVMH may not have the in-house skill set to sponsor such an initiative, but Arnault’s teams certainly have the financial budget to acquire it.

Guide to Donating To HIV/AIDS Awareness This Holiday Season By Credit

The Trump Administration proposed budget cuts for the 2019 fiscal year that would take away millions in federal funding from multiple HIV/AIDS prevention programs. While Congress denied those budget cuts, advocacy groups around the world are worried that similar cuts will be passed in the future.

With World AIDS day coming up on December 1 and Trump’s recent budget cut proposals in the news, the spotlight on HIV and AIDS awareness has returned, causing many people to consider how they can donate to organizations looking to help with the epidemic domestic and abroad.

Donating to causes such as HIV and AIDS research has become easier than ever as more organizations begin using online donation portals and partnering with businesses such as Amazon. This year, holiday shoppers can effortlessly support the fight against HIV and AIDS just by being mindful of where they shop for Christmas gifts.

Shop smarter and make a difference

Organizations such as (RED) have been partnering with brands to help raise money and awareness for the fight against HIV/AIDS. By shopping for these brands or through certain portals, you can contribute to health and community programs around the world that are working to stop HIV/AIDS.

(RED) Partners

(RED) is one of the largest and most well-known organizations dedicated to the elimination of HIV/AIDS. Every year, they partner with big brands to collaborate on special edition items. Brands donate a certain amount to the Global Fund for each purchase of a (RED) collection item.

Here are some their 2018 partners:

  • Apple. Apple has an entire line of products to support (RED), including a special edition iPhone XR.

  • Bank of America. From November 20 to December 31, 2018, Bank of America donates the cost of a day’s worth of medication for each dollar spent during the (RED) shopathon.

  • Beats. Beats donates a portion of every sale of (PRODUCT)RED™ headphones and speakers.

  • Belvedere Vodka. Toast the holidays with Belvedere’s special edition bottle, and they’ll donate 50 percent of the proceeds to Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.

  • Telcel and Claro. These companies donate a portion of every (TELCEL)RED phone purchase to help fund programs in high-prevalence countries in Africa and Latin America.

  • Starbucks. On December 1, Starbucks will donate 25 cents (USD) for every featured holiday specialty drink purchased.

  • Durex. A percentage of each purchase of (DUREX)RED condoms will go towards The Keeping Girls in School Programme in South Africa, helping promote sexual health practices that prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

  • AirAsia. If you plan to fly to Southeast Asia this holiday season, you could help raise funds and awareness by flying on the first-ever (RED) plane. The airline is also donating money for each flight booked on

You can check out the full list of collaborations that support (RED)’s mission to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic on their website. You can also support (RED) by shopping for products on Amazon. Amazon offers a large line of (RED) products, including a few of the special edition items listed above, to online customers. From stocking stuffers to jewelry to Vespas and everything in between, you can support an amazing cause just by doing your holiday shopping online.

Using your credit card to fight HIV/AIDS

By using your credit card to donate, you can earn rewards or cash back on your donation purchase, which can help you pay for holiday travel or Christmas gifts.

Those rewards can also be donated to the fight against HIV/AIDS. Multiple airlines have at least one donation partner that contribute to the cause, and there are a few hotel chains that also allow you to donate rewards points to charities like Unicef, which uses funds to help those affected by HIV/AIDS.

If you are an American Express cardholder, you can also use the JustGiving website to use your Membership Rewards® to donate to a wide variety of charities, including Aid for Aids International.

Choosing a reputable charity to support

As it becomes easier to donate online and support causes through co-branded shopping experiences, it also becomes easier to fall prey to scams. Here are a few things to consider when choosing where to donate and which charities to support:

  • Check to see if they are a 501(c)(3) charity. This exemption status is typically a high indicator that an organization isn’t secretly supporting private stakeholders or individual interests. You can do a quick online search through an IRS finder tool, or you can call toll-free at 1-877-829-5500.

  • Know where they spend their money. Many charities spend more money on fundraising than they do on actually helping the cause(s) they support. If a charity is spending less than 50 percent of its budget on their programs, you might want to consider donating to an organization where you know your money is going directly towards helping people in need.

  • Donate at the source. While GoFundMe pages and other crowdfunding sites have gone viral in recent years with campaigns that support just about any and every cause, it’s always safer to donate to organizations and causes directly through their website donation portals.

  • Keep your information safe. Make sure you aren’t sharing information unless it’s through a secure form on a secure website.

There are so many ways you can help those in need this holiday season. By using credit card rewards and being mindful of where you shop, you can help change the lives of the millions of people worldwide who suffer from HIV/AIDS.

Read more about AIDS action in Africa on Mothers 2 Mothers

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Tanzania's Selous Safari Company Recycled Their Taka Taka Long Ago With Minimal Footprint Policies

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I've been on the hunt for bamboo tubes used in our GlamTribal jewelry and this gorgeous image from Tanzania's Selous Safari Company is causing me to have a eureka moment! I'm probably finding them to be so scarce because larger bamboo tubes are now being used as straws. 

One of the core values and main objectives of Selous Safari Company is its commitment to have minimal impact on the environment. 

Long before it was mainstream practice, SSC stopped using plastic bags, started using solar power, set out to recycle all their "taka taka" (Swahili word for garbage) and ceased using plastic bottles. Selous Safari Company also stopped using plastic straws… without a firm plan for their replacement.

A bit of creative meditation, most likely accompanied by a delicious cocktail or two on their magnificent beach, produced the answer: Bamboo straws! And NOT delivered by Amazon. REAL, AUTHENTIC bamboo straws. 

SSC's beach lodge, Ras Kutani, on the Swahili Coast has plenty of bamboo, and the creative minds went into high gear. Read their blog post for further instructions.  Here in America, GlamTribal will order our own bamboo straws, treat them with only eco-friendly varnish, perhaps even decoupage them. Who knows what ideas will be inspired by the bamboo straws created by Tanzania's Selous Safari Company!

If a trip to Tanzania isn't in your budget this minute, consider taking a hatchet to your monthly must-haves, buy our woolly mammoth bone, bamboo tubes, black lava pendant and imagine yourself at Jongomero, another Selous Safari Company property. 

Surely, you can give up a pumpkin latte or 10 a month, just to put on your pendant in this splendid, rustic elegance at Jongomero

PS250 Woolly Mammoth Bone Bamboo Tubes Black Lava Pendant w/Earrings


Sizing: 24" L to top of pendant INCLUDING bamboo tubes adjusting to 28.5"" fully open w/extender. Plus pendant measuring 2 1/4"L x 2".  Earrings 1 1/2"L

Finding: 12mm antique gold swivel lobster clasp. 11mm antique gold, stainless steel earwire. 4.5” handmade chain extender.

10% of retail price supports Kibera (Nairobi) School for Girls and elephant conservation in Kenya.

Studio-made: unique pendant w/speckled bone tube and elephant charm resting on black lava. Other materials: 1 woolly mammoth bone bead, carved bone beads, specked bone tube, brass mini spacers, bamboo tubes, yellow and black crow bead, twigs, acai bead, faceted tortoise glass, antique gold brass filigree tubes. HOPE and PEACE spacers.

NOTE: I’ve updated pendant with elephant and bee on jumpring, to keep elephant from moving to back of black lava. Ellie still moves but doesn’t get lost.

Handcrafted in America; natural variations and minor substitutions for sizing apply. Statue not included. Pendant shipped in burlap bag w/recycled tissue.

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