Mattel Honours Conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall With New Sustainable Barbie Doll

Life in plastic is not always fantastic.

by Sophie McEvoy
Dr. Jane Goodall and her sustainable Barbie in 2022

Mattel has added another powerful figure to its Barbie's Inspiring Women series. Following in the footsteps of Wimbledon champion Billie Jean King and Dr. Maya Angelou, celebrated British conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall has been immortalised in the form of a collectible Barbie doll. The arrival of "Barbie Jane,” as referred to by Goodall, coincides with World Chimpanzee Day on July 14, and marks the animal behaviour expert’s first trip to Tanzania's Gombe National Park to study chimpanzees.

Created with input from the Jane Goodall Institute, the Barbie is the first in the Inspiring Women's series to be made from sustainable materials, mainly recycled plastic. Dressed in a khaki safari outfit complete with hiking boots, a pair of binoculars, and a blue field notebook, the Jane Goodall Barbie is accompanied by David Greybeard, the first chimpanzee Goodall observed using tools during her research. Retailing at $35 (£29), the doll is available to purchase from Mattel’s website.

Through her Barbie doll, Goodall, 88, hopes to inspire the next generation to work in the field of conservation. "My entire career, I've wanted to help inspire kids to be curious and explore the world around them, just like I did when I travelled to Tanzania 62 years ago," Goodall said in a video for her institute. "I'm thrilled to partner with Barbie and encourage young children to learn from their environment and feel a sense they can make a difference."

She continued: "Through this partnership, I hope to inspire the next generation of eco-leaders to join me in protecting our planet and remind them they can be anything, anywhere — on the field, in the lab, and at the table."

Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel, hopes that this "homage to a groundbreaking pioneer for women and science and conservation inspires kids to learn more about green careers, how they can protect the planet, and act out sustainable stories through doll play."