By Lizzie Edmonds
Goldie Hawn today launched a fleet of colourful rickshaws that will hit the streets of London this summer to raise money to save the Asian elephant from extinction.
For two months from today the auto-rickshaws — created by designers such as Diane von Fürstenberg, Mulberry and Carolina Herrera — will offer Londoners rides across the capital to raise money for the late Mark Shand’s charity Elephant Family.
The rickshaws, which are UK road ready, have been sponsored by Selfridges and will be based outside some of London’s top locations such as The Goring, Rosewood London and Chiltern Firehouse.
Although the rides are free, the public will be asked to make a contribution to the charity set up by the Duchess of Cornwall’s brother.
Hollywood star Ms Hawn said: “What Mark did to put the plight of Asia’s elephants on the map and all the forest homes he reconnected is inspired. I’ve always said that Elephant Family campaigns are a magical adventure with real purpose — this is yet another campaign that will make people smile and shine a multi-coloured spotlight on the endangered Asian elephant.”
The vehicles will be auctioned for the cause by Sotheby’s. Bids can be registered at the online platform, Paddle8, from June 8, with the live auction, hosted by the Prince of Wales and Camilla, on June 30.
The launch comes ahead of a charity rickshaw race in India this November. Inspired by adventurer and conservationist Shand’s 1991 book Travels On My Elephant, which details his rescue of an Asian elephant, Tara, a different fleet of 40 rickshaws will race 500km across India, ending at Tara’s home at Kipling Camp in the Kanha National Park.
Actress Susan Sarandon, models Yasmin and Amber Le Bon and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie are taking part in the challenge, called Travels To My Elephant.
The project, a collaboration between Elephant Family and Quintessentially Foundation, aims to raise £1 million. Quintessentially Foundation founder Ben Elliot, the nephew of the Duchess of Cornwall, told the Standard: “This is a fantastic project for a brilliant cause and the race across India will be a real adventure.”