Name: Harjinder Singh Mankoo
Background: Kenyan Born Sikh aiming to make a difference
Location: London
Topic: Cortigris partnership with The Born Free Foundation

What has ignited your interest in preserving the natural world?

I was born in Kenya and remember going on Safari with my family. At that time, the jungle was a jungle and when you came across wild animals, there weren’t other people around.

Sadly the last time I went on safari, every lion, cheetah, elephant etc that was spotted was surrounded by umpteen vans from various travel agencies carrying their load of tourists. Tourism is a life line to these countries so I cannot say what is happening is wrong and that it should be reined in but I truly feel that the animals and the environment needs to be protected. This is why I felt I needed to make a difference and develop some ways to financially support conservation work. In my research on wildlife conservation charities I discovered the Born Free Foundation which has its beginnings in Kenya and they do a fantastic job raising awareness and helping animals in their natural habitat. I had the idea of developing some jewellery items and so we approached them, and after a couple of meetings, they agreed to work with us to create some jewellery.

Tell us about your company and your selected charity

Cortigris means “heart of the Tiger” in latin. We are an independent fine jewellery design house based in London serving private clients and selling hallmarked jewellery from our website. The Born Free Foundation is a worldwide and world renowned charity organisation who raise awareness and are actively involved in the conservation of animals in their natural wild habitat. Anne Tudor, Marketing Director of The Born Free Foundation has stated “The wildlife range from Cortigris is a truly distinctive design, combining majestic animals and their country of origin in an intriguing,
attractive and very wearable way…and it helps the animals too!”

How much of your profits will you be donating to the Born Free Foundation?

We are now selling the “Wildlife” collection from our website and giving 50% of the profits on each sale of these designs to
the charity. Being a small organisation with very low overheads we calculated that 50% was well within our means.
This also falls in our Win-Win-Win-Win scenario
1. Charity gets well needed money to do their great work
2. We win as we get worldwide exposure
3. Our customers win as they get fantastic jewellery and also know that a substantial amount of what they are paying out go to a great cause
4. We manufacture only in the UK, so in our little way we are helping UK manufacturing

Whats in store for the future?

We hope to strengthen our brand and give our customers an unparallelled service. The “Wildlife” collection will remain and raise money for the Born Free Foundation. We hope to be able to give part of our profits on our other ranges to some charities which are also close to our hearts.