Updated: Jan 19
The Civet Project launches ethical clothing range to raise awareness of the Viverrid family and to support conservation and welfare research efforts.
This week, the Civet Project launches a range of ethical tee-shirts and totes, to inspire conversation about ethical human-civet relations. Produced by tee-mill, an eco-friendly clothing manufacturer, the Civet Project clothing range is created from 100% organic cotton in a wind and solar powered factory. Inspired by the Viverridae family, an elusive and enigmatic family of mammals to which the Civet Project research initiative is dedicated, each tee-shirt tells a unique civet story. Be it a subtle nod to the absurdity of civet coffee, or a downright call to boycott, the Civet Project designs are sure to turn heads and get conversations flowing. Civet coffee, falsely claimed to be the worlds most expensive and rare coffee, is produced through the digestive tract of the Asian palm civet. Whilst the civets digestive enzymes are said to alter the coffees composition to create a smoother and less acidic taste, research lead by Jes Hooper of the Civet Project has confirmed this is not the case. In a bold research move, Jes Hooper along with art duo Harrie Liveart and biological scientists from the University of Brighton tested coffee produced via the human digestive tract. Initial analysis of the beans using the same Scanning Electron Microscopy methods as employed for authentication of civet coffee, found no significant differences between coffee produced through the human digestive tract compared to those passed through the gut of a civet. The human coffee later sold at auction as part of the Harrie Liveart solo exhibition in May 2022, reaching a staggering 540 Euro ($566 USD) for one cup of human coffee, making it the worlds most expensive coffee, superseding civet coffee's claims. To highlight the ludicrous nature of the civet coffee industry, the Civet Project has designed two tee-shirts. The first, inspired by the scientific exploration of human and civet coffee, features the chemical composition of coffee with the statement "I'll digest my own thanks" - if you know, you know!
The second design, inspired by research conducted by Jes into the marketing of civet coffee tourism in Bali, simply reads "say no to cat-poo-chino", the name by which Balinese agro-tourism entice holidaymakers to try the cruel yet infamous civet coffee.
Of course, the stars of the show have to be the civets themselves, and so there are a range of designs featuring Viverrid family members. The 'lazy bear cat binturong', 'palm civet' and 'mostly nocturnal' tee's showcase the civet's image in unique and flattering designs.
As civets remain one of the most poorly understood of the ancient cat-like mammals, it is hoped that these designs will inspire conversation about civet welfare and conservation. Each tee-shirt is available from the Civet Project tee-mill shop, each with an explanation of the civet stories behind them.
As Jes explains:
"Nothing is quite as powerful a voice for other animals than the voice of the consumer"
Each tee-shirt and tote bag sale directly supports the research of civet conservation and welfare conducted by Jes and colleagues at the Civet Project, whilst promoting positive messages for civet welfare and conservation. When you buy from the Civet Project tee-mill you become a Civet Champion! You can browse all the latest designs in the Civet Project Tee-Mill shop.