Monday, March 26, 2012

Puma outdoor range get Fairtrade nod

Puma SA marketing director Brett Bellinger with some of their new Wilderness collection

Puma paid more than lip service to their commitment to sustainability when they became the first clothing brand in SA to launch a range accredited by Fairtrade. The launch of the Puma Wilderness Collection in selected Duesouth storeson on Thursday (22 March) can claim several “firsts” – it is the first time that an international brand has a global launch of a range in South Africa, it is the first time that Puma introduces an outdoor clothing range and proper home-grown “vellies” (manufactured in Cape Town by Jordan & Co) – 94% produced in Africa – and it is the first time that Fairtrade SA accredits a clothing range.

Puma Terrae Mid Africa

Puma Terrae Mid Africa 
Guests at the launch enjoyed food and drink (even chocolate) accredited by Fairtrade – a lobby group that started in the Netherlands 25 years ago to show support for the small-scale Mexican coffee bean farmers. Since then it has grown into a worldwide organization operating in most countries. In SA it is headed by Boudewijn Goossens, who first became involved as a student in the Netherlands. 

Fairtrade’s SA executive director Boudewijn Goossens
Puma earned the Fairtrade label on 81% of these apparel styles for sourcing the cotton from small-scale economically disadvantaged farmers, thereby creating opportunities for these poor communities and promoting sustainable development. Fairtrade certified cotton means that producers not only receive an agreed minimum price to cover production costs, but also a Fairtrade Premium of €50 (R500) for every ton of cotton they sell to spend on projects like schools, health care and improved production.

 Marketing directors Brett Bellinger (Puma) and Fernando Ventura (Foschini Sport)

The retro-style button-up sweatshirts, graphic tees, woven cotton shirts with a bushwacked look and collars to protect against sunburn,  cargo shorts and pants were 94% made in Africa, where they helped to create new jobs for African opportunities. A ladies range will be on the market in 2013.

Puma Wilderness long sleeve shirt
Their backpack is made of 100% recycled polyester, says Puma marketing director Brett Bellinger.

Puma Wilderness backpack
The inspiration for the PUMA Wilderness collection was provided by Wilderness Holdings, the Botswana-based ecotourism and conservation company dedicated to sustainability, biodiversity and development of rural communities in nine African countries.  PUMA has a 20% shareholding in the company.

Keith Vincent (right), MD of Wilderness Holdings, with Brett Bellinger
Following the launch in some DueSouth stores (part of Foschini Sport), Puma aims to sell the range into other SA retailers and also internationally. 

 Foschini Sport marketing director Fernando Ventura and triathlete Dan Hugo.

Model Chad (right) showing how the Wilderness collection should be worn

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