Ivory lace bags are becoming increasingly popular among young adults.
But they are becoming harder to find.
Auckland, New Zealand, is now home to the first-ever national ivory lacebag ban.
A new law was passed in New Zealand in February to ban the sale and importation of ivory lace bags and laces.
The ban came after concerns about the rise in demand for ivory lace and the trade in lace bags was flagged by the World Health Organization and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
The ban comes as an increasing number of young people are using ivory lacebags as accessories and as personal protection.
“They are used in many places, and we think they’re really important for their aesthetic,” says Joanna Worsley, an ivory lace expert and author of The Ivory Lace Bag: Fashion and Beauty in a Global Economy.
“I think there is a real need for people to have some form of personal protective equipment, whether it be a lacebag, or if it’s just for themselves, or even if they’re just carrying it around in a bag or a purse.”
Worsley says that in the US, where the US government has imposed a ban on ivory lace, the demand for lacebags has grown by about 90 per cent, and there has been a “huge increase in the number of people using them for personal protection”.
The new law, passed by New Zealand’s parliament, says lace bags can only be imported into New Zealand for personal use, and it can’t be sold to anyone under 18 years old.
Lace bags are made of silky wool or other fabric, and are usually sold in bulk at retail outlets.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has said that ivory lace is one of the most important products of the 20th century.
“Ivory lace is an important material for traditional Chinese weaving, which is used for weaving garments and decorative items,” IUCN spokesman Steve Stirling said in a statement.
“The use of lace bags is an extremely significant and important use of the material in China, particularly in the rural areas where they are woven.
It is important that they are used appropriately, to be used as a personal protection and personal protective footwear.”
Ivory laces are now considered an endangered species, meaning they are a protected species and not protected under any international treaty.