There is no limit to creativity nowadays, and what happens when someone get creative with toad skins? KOBJA! Well, yes, brand KOBJA makes designer belts, bags and purses from the skin of an invasive species of toad!
KOBJA, which is owned by Jarosz, has a cult following. The accessories are made of a species of fast reproducing poisonous toad, which, right now, are multiplying immensely the South Sea Islands of Australia.
Jarosz has been heard saying that all her fashion accessories come from these discarded toad skins. These invasive species have also destroyed several local species in the area.
The animal defence associations in the area recommended the selective elimination of the species and hence, these toad skins are recycled and not thrown away.
The species was introduced to Australia from Hawaii in 1935 as agricultural pests,. Belonging to the Rhinella marina family, these toads now number in millions. Jarosz says the idea first struck her when a friend gifted her a stuffed frog from New Zealand.
Jarosz soon grabbed the problem the plenty that Australia was facing as an opportunity and thus, KOBJA today is a sought after brand. The skins are initially prepared in Carins, Australia, and then exported to France to be tanned, dried and dyed in an elaborate fourteen stage process.
Once that is done, KOBJA makes lavish innovations like Swarovski crystals, bright colors and careful detailing to the skins.
Right now, KOBJA accessories are sold in Tokyo, Beijing, New York and Berlin. These tend to be on the expensive side ranging from $275 to $ 1600.