Etsy News Blog

Saving Seals, One Pendant at a Time

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

It all started when Victoria Takahashi, also known as Experimetal, was concerned about the harp seal cull season approaching. Her concern was so great that she proposed the Etsy Metals street team make seals their theme for the month of April. Those who cared deeply about animals and wildlife were also encouraged to get involved in spreading awareness and generating donations. Wendy of Alphabettispaghetti told us, “It was a kind of joint effort between Etsy for Animals and the Metal street team, and we chose our own charity to donate to. I decided to donate to IFAW. [International Fund for Animal Welfare]”

Shortly thereafter, we spoke with IFAW and received the following letter from Sheryl, Senior Research and Projects Specialist for IFAW, in response to this Craftivism project on Etsy.

Letter from IFAW:

Hi Vanessa,

I think it’s absolutely fantastic that Etsy is supporting craftivism. It’s such a great way for artisans to show support for organizations and causes they believe in, and to raise awareness of issues that are close to them.

I had heard of Etsy previously, but never purchased anything from the site. Oddly enough, I work for IFAW on their campaign to end Canada’s commercial seal hunt; the same organization and cause that funds were being raised for in this case!

A colleague at IFAW (who is also an Etsy member) had sent around an email about one of our supporters, who was donating the proceeds from the sale of a pendant to IFAW. This was passed on to me by another colleague who knows I’m crazy about seals and always on the lookout for seal-related jewelry. When I saw the pendant – a silver mother harp seal and her pup nose to nose – I absolutely fell in love with it!

I had just returned from observing Canada’s seal hunt with the IFAW team a few days earlier, and I was incredibly moved by Wendy’s description of the pendant – it was clear that she had put a lot of time and effort into creating this, and that it was very special to her. It was immediately obvious that here was someone who cares as much as I do about seals and ending Canada’s cruel seal hunt!

It’s always so heartening to be reminded that there are people out there who care. It just makes it that much more special to me, knowing this pendant was created by someone who supports IFAW’s work and knowing that the money raised is going to support such a great cause. Thanks to the craftivism aspect of Etsy, I feel like I have a personal connection with Wendy, even though we’ve never met and she lives across the Atlantic Ocean!

I am going to wear this pendant every time I do a presentation, speech, or interview about Canada’s seal hunt. I am hoping people will ask me about it, so that I can tell them about Etsy, and Wendy, and how she made this pendant to help support IFAW and our work to help the seals.

Best wishes,

Sheryl Fink

Senior Research and Projects Specialist International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Visit IFAW for more information on helping wildlife thrive. 

  • Experimetal

    Experimetal says:

    Thank you Vanessa! And thank you Etsy, you have given me a way to "give back" with my artwork.

    7 years ago

  • alphabettispaghetti

    alphabettispaghetti says:

    Oh Vanessa, a million thanks for this!! It was the most fantastic challenge I've ever done. Thank you so much from bringing it to the rest of Etsy!

    7 years ago

  • LunasaDesigns

    LunasaDesigns says:

    Awesome! It was so great being a part of this and knowing that a piece of my jewelry was going towards something so special! Thanks Victoria for getting us involved! :)

    7 years ago

  • bluedogrose

    bluedogrose says:

    This is wonderful, so glad this is getting more attention. I love it when artists help animals.

    7 years ago

  • Experimetal

    Experimetal says:

    I am very proud to say that in 2006/2007, with Etsys help I was able to give a total of $538.10 to Rabbithaven, Meow, Harp Seals and Pitbulls animal organizations! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!

    7 years ago

  • jared Admin

    jared says:

    Experimental has always been a favorite seller of mine. Now I'm even more enamored with her. Thank you Victoria!

    7 years ago

  • CrysallisCreations

    CrysallisCreations says:

    awwww.... this is a great report! Thank you Vanessa!! and yes....aside from being a great talent that I admire, V. Takahashi aka Experimetal is also a great caring soul!! My deepest admiration to those who were involved in such great cause!! ((HUGS)) Deb @ Crysallis

    7 years ago

  • BerryPatchDesigns

    BerryPatchDesigns says:

    That's absolutely fantastic! Kudos to the Metal Street Team and IFAW. Canada's annual seal hunt is one of the most tragic events... Articles I've read have stated that post-mortems of the dead seal young showed many of them were probably still alive while being skinned, and that many had been killed with several heavy blows. Few of the victims had had the test to determine if they were dead. Seals' eyes do not respond in death the way other animals' do, so you cannot always be sure an animal is actually dead, prior to taking off it's pelt. This is incredibly inhumane, as is the huge number of killings and the fact that they are only pups! I bow to your great compassion. Should you have a similar event, please convo me.

    7 years ago

  • alphabettispaghetti

    alphabettispaghetti says:

    I heard on the grapevine that Alphabet Spag could be quite nice, too...

    7 years ago

  • Experimetal

    Experimetal says:

    i know for a fact that Alphabetti Spaghetti is superfantistico! xoxo vt

    7 years ago

  • Experimetal

    Experimetal says:

    If anyone is interested. Here is a link for some of the top designers who use "seal fur" in thier fashions. http://www.hsus.org/marine_mammals/protect_seals/designers_who_use_seal_fur.html

    7 years ago

  • Experimetal

    Experimetal says:

    The Seal hunt for 2008 just began :(

    6 years ago

  • LondonParticulars

    LondonParticulars says:

    What a great cause, I wish they had added a picture of the pendant it sounds lovely

    5 years ago