Ivory Lane Saga Reminds Us That Buying Ivory Is Still Not Illegal In Singapore

Buying an ivory bangle in Singapore may sound like a Herculean task that would border on being illegal.

Truth is, finding an ivory product is not hard at all. In fact, all you have to do is switch on the Carousell app on your smartphones, and you will undoubtedly find one in no time.

Here are some ivory products that we managed to find within 5 minutes.

Source: Carousell website

You might be shocked to find that such products are so accessible in Singapore. Aren’t there laws in place that forbid the sale of ivory products?

Well, the short answer is yes — but there’s also a catch to it.

Even though the Singapore government has banned the imports and exports of ivory since 1990, the buying and selling of ivory that was imported before the ban is still permitted.

And that was the focus of World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF)‘s latest PR effort that took social media by storm.

Ivory Lane

At first glance, Ivory Lane looks just like any run-of-the-mill online blogshop that has sprung over the years. But on closer inspection, you will soon find that they are anything but.

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Ivory Lane creates fashion accessories made from ‘vintage’ Ivory, which were imported before 1990 from Central Africa and handcrafted in Asia, according to their Facebook page launched on 31 Jul.

They described ivory as being one of the purest and most luxurious elements found in Mother Nature.

Numerous netizens were outraged by their “unethical practice” of selling ivory, as it encouraged the poaching of elephants.

Needless to say, the store’s Facebook page has a 1.1-star rating, as a result of the negative feedback.

But in a dramatic turn of events, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) revealed yesterday that the entire affair was a PR stunt aimed at highlighting existing loopholes within Singapore’s wildlife legislation.

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Sentiments from netizens

While similar PR stunts by local actress Rebecca Lim and SingPost were not well received by the public, netizens’ sentiments towards WWF’s latest PR stunt seem to be largely positive.

Many netizens were full of praise for the campaign.

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This netizen was fond of the campaign due to its educational purpose.

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One netizen recommended capital punishment for ivory traders.

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Your thoughts?

What are your thoughts on WWF’s PR campaign?

If you’re thinking of doing your part to put an end to the cruel ivory trade, you might be interested in joining WWF’s Virtual Ranger initiative here.

Featured image from Ivory Lane on Facebook.