So, today is a very important day for us here at Bonobos, and no, we're not talking about Valentine's Day. February 14 is World Bonobo Day, which began in 2017 as a means of bringing awareness to our beloved namesake. You may be among the many who have thought, “Wow these pants make my butt look fantastic, but why are they called Bonobos?” We get that more than you might think. So we went to the top of the food chain where founder Andy Dunn sits and asked him.
In his own words, he tells us, "Bonobos are incredible animals. We take inspiration from their matriarchal, nonviolent societies — and we believe strongly that the best possible future for men comes from the empowerment of women." So you see, for us, it goes much deeper than a name. It all ties into our mission of men aspiring to build better and brighter futures for everyone.
The matriarchal society that Andy mentioned is strikingly unique to the bonobo. Of all the ape species in the world, they are the only one to behave in this manner. Similarly unique is that there’s no record of one bonobo ever killing another. Though they’re generally peaceful primates, they’re not without conflict. It’s their means of resolution that make them a little more interesting. Typically, tensions are diffused through loving gestures, cooperation, and a whole lot of sex — hence their nickname “the make love not war ape.” For what it’s worth, these loving creatures are also our closest genetic relatives, sharing 98.7 percent of our DNA. (Go figure.)
Amazing and peaceful as they may be, bonobos are threatened. Outside of several zoos, bonobos live exclusively in the Congo Basin of the Democratic Republic of Congo and according to the International Union of Conservation of Nature, there’s just an estimated 15,000 of them left on the planet. Despite their habits, they also tend to give birth once every five years, making population growth and conservation an uphill battle.
Jerry wears the Bonobos x Bonobo Project T-shirt
So today, while you may be reveling in your own “make love not war” vibes, please join us and The Bonobo Project in protecting the greatest apes. You can start with our Bonobos x Bonobo Project t-shirt. For every shirt sold, we'll be donating $15 to the Bonobo Project to bring more awareness to the bonobos’ endangerment. For more information, visit The Bonobo Project’s website.