Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

Argentine Designer “MAYDI” to Launch New Collection Featuring Wildlife Friendly™ Certified Fibers During Paris Fashion Week

Home grown luxurious merino wool sourced from Certified Wildlife Friendly™ ranchers is part of WCS Argentina’s Patagonian Fibers with a Conscience™ program  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BUENOS AIRES AND PUERTO MADRYN, ARGENTINA (January 7, 2019)— Argentine knitwear line Maydi, theWildlife Friendly Enterprise Network(WFEN) and the Wildlife Conservation Society-Argentina (WCS)are pleased to announce the debut of Certified Wildlife Friendly™ fibers from Patagonia Argentina at Paris Fashion Week February 27 – March 6, 2019.  Using luxurious merino wool produced by the “Patagonian Fibers with a Conscience” program from a sustainable ranchers cooperative called “Merino de Peninsula Valdés™” Wildlife Friendly™ merino will be featured for the first time by an independent Argentine designer in her line.

Born in Argentina, Maria Abdala-Zolezzi, a.k.a ¨Maydi¨, is a Franco-Argentine designer who received her training at the London College of Fashion.  After working for over a decade in the fashion meccas of Paris and Milan for international brands like Hermès, Sonia Rykiel, and Isabel Marant,Ms. Zolezzi returned to Argentina to found her own home grown brand, Maydi, to showcase some of the world’s best natural fibers like merino, mohair and even wild guanaco fiber, grown on the famous grasslands of her native country. Featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and in Condé Nast Traveller’s the Best of Buenos Aires, each Maydi garment is carefully made by hand using processes that respect both workers and the environment including iconic Argentinean wildlife through this new sourcing partnership with WCS-Argentina and WFEN.  “For MAYDI Sustainability is the responsibility of every individual every day, says Maria Abdala-Zolezzi, “I want to make unique clothes working under fair trade principles while keeping an equitable relationship with the environment as well as with respect and appreciation for the individual people who participate in the craftsmanship of each piece.”

WCS Argentina supports the Merino Peninsula Valdés™ (MPV) group who are committed to managing their ranches to allow healthy populations of guanacos, rheas, and maras to co-exist with their sheep, and to use non-lethal methods to control predation by pumas, chilla foxes, and Geoffroy’s and pampas cats. Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina (FVSA) will provide third-party verification of compliance with commitments and collaborate with WCS to monitor impacts on wildlife. “We all agree in making the coexistence between sheep ranching and healthy wildlife a long-term achievement,” said Alejandro Arias, coordinator of the FVSA program.  WCS and FVSA are working together under a cooperation agreement with the USFWS to expand the sustainably managed land in the area.

Península Valdés is a 4,000square-kilometer (1,544 square miles) protected area in Patagonia, declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1999. Península Valdés still harbors significant populations of native wildlife, and its waters are critical habitat for southern right whales, sea lions, magellanic penguins and elephant seals. Although a management plan has been effective in conserving coastal wildlife, the land is privately owned and sheep ranching is widespread.

“These ranchers are committed to wildlife-friendly practices because they are convinced that their economic futures are better served by moving away from maximizing sheep stocking rates and adding value by conserving native species at Península Valdés, an emblematic site of Patagonia. Our work is based on scientific research on wildlife ecology,” said Ricardo Baldi, a scientist from CONICET, the Argentine national science agency, and consultant for WCS.

“’Patagonian Fibers with a Conscience™’ provides an inspiring opportunity to combine a sustainable business approach with on-the-ground wildlife conservation,” said Carina Righi, Director of WCS Argentina. “We’re showing that we can protect guanacos and other wildlife, support the local economy, and add value to a product that reaches international markets. It’s a win-win for Peninsula Valdés.”

“We are so gratified to see this enthusiasm from designers and brands in sourcing Wildlife Friendly™ fibers,” said Julie Stein, Executive Director and co-founder of WFEN,  “because global consumers want to support wildlife and habitat through their purchases. This demand demonstrates to ranchers and the Argentinean government that wildlife has economic value and that wildlands and ranchlands can both thrive.  Its very exciting to work with such an exceptionally talented designer like Maria who also shares our vision for a definition of sustainable fashion that includes biodiversity.”

For wholesalers, retailers and consumers interested in purchasing the Maydi line please contact:  contact@maydiaz.com

###

About Maydi

Maydi uses only natural fibers and organic yarns in her hand-woven fabrics. The timeless spirit of each piece manifests itself in a 100% contemporary and refined design, carried out through the ancient techniques of hand-knitting, manual weaving loom and crochet, which are thus revalued.  Maydi believes in the principles of fair trade, hence her designs are developed and produced in collaboration with local Argentine artisans, assuring them fair remuneration and respect for the legacy of their craft and art. Weaving loom is one of the oldest cultural traditions of Aboriginal peoples and a clear statement of the importance of women as transmitters of life and culture in society and selects exclusively noble materials such as merino wool of Argentine Patagonia —including yarn in spinning wheel—, mohair, cotton and silk straw. Argentine organic merino is comparable with precious fibers (such as cashmere and alpaca) for its smoothness, shine, and softness, and stands out among the main materials used in the collection. For this reason, beyond this intrinsic quality of fiber, Maydi works with Merino wools that are backed by a production process which takes care of the environment, the well-being of animals and the development of individuals and organizations involved in the entire value chain.

The dyes used are completely natural, obtained from native plants such as: Tara, Palo Amarillo, Guayacán and Cochinilla from Argentina and South America through environmentally friendly processes.

Maydi sets the quality bar very high, ensuring meticulous attention to detail in the entire process of creation of each garment, hand-made from start to finish. Thus, the design of each piece enables raw materials to speak for themselves. The brand continues to cultivate a relationship with internal market: Maydi redoubles its value for customers who appreciate good taste and high design, with made-to measure pieces. Thus, it intensifies the uniqueness of its items and justifies even more the longing for them.

 

INTERNATIONAL STOCKISTS

SOLIS
6, quai Jules Courmont, Angle rue Thomassin 69002 Lyon — FRANCE
www.solisboutique.com

BIOTOP
4-6-44 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, 108-0071, Tokyo — JAPAN
www.biotop.jp

LA KAGU
67 Yaraicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo — JAPAN
www.lakagu.com

PLAGE
20-17 Daikanyamacho, Shibuya-Ku 162-0805 Tokyo — JAPAN
www.plage.baycrews.co.jp/store/

CEMENT
2-14-25-101 Shimo ochiai Shinjuku-ku 161-0033, Tokyo — JAPAN
www.cement-own.com

ISETAN
3 – 14 – 1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku 160-0022 Tokyo — JAPAN
isetan.mistore.jp/store

MAIDENS SHOP
2-19-12 Jingumae Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo — JAPAN
shop.maiden.jp

CHAOS
4-10-5 Jingumae Shibuya-Ku 150-0001 Tokyo — JAPAN
www.chaostokyo.jp

ORA ET LABORA
750 Fort Worth Ave Suite H130, Dallas, TX 75208 – USA
www.oetl.co

About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

WFEN and its certification programs represent grassroots farmers, ranchers, herders, artisans, indigenous peoples and conservation heroes from around the world including two World Bank Development Marketplace Award winners, a U.N. Equator Prize winner, leadership in the world’s marketplace for REDD+ Carbon Offsets, and a Time Hero for the Planet. Wildlife Friendly® products contribute to the conservation of overtwelve million hectaresof diverse wetlands, forests, and grasslands; protectkeystone endangered speciesinAsia, Africa, Europe, and Latin and North America, including the Snow Leopard, Elephant, Tiger, Cheetah, Red Panda, and Wolf; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org, IG: @wildlifefriendly, Twitter: @wfen

About the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission.

Visit: www.wcs.org;
http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS;
http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia
Follow: @thewcs

Contact:

Maydi: contact@maydiaz.com

Conicet: Ricardo Baldi: rbaldi@wcs.org

WCS: Stephen Sautner; ssautner@wcs.org

Wildlife Friendly: Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org

 

Sustainable products promote coexistence between native wildlife
and fiber production

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) and the Wildlife Conservation Society Argentina (WCS) are pleased to announce the Wildlife Friendly™ certification of high quality mohair, merino wool, and cashmere, in recognition of the efforts of a cooperative of criancero herders to co-exist with the region’s native wildlife.

Local mixed-breed dog working as a guarding dog for goats. Credit: Alejandro Gonzalez.

Following years of work to improve land management practices and fiber quality, and support from WCS, 12 herders of the Neuquén, Argentina-based Programa Mohair are now offering both raw fiber and spun yarn for sale, under the Fibras del Viento (Fibers of the Wind) label. Fibers are available in natural colors and dyes, including green from Yerba mate, the national beverage of Argentina. Fine yarn and finished goods are spun and handcrafted at a small mill operated by cooperative members.

“The commitment of these herders participating in the Programa Mohair shows that it is possible to improve land use practices and combine increased product value with real conservation results. This is a high impact social and wildlife achievement that we hope will inspire other livestock producers in Patagonia,” said Guillermo Harris, WCS Argentina Director.

Puma in Laguna Blanca National Park, where some of the certified herders live. Credit: WCS Argentina

The actions of the livestock herders to coexist with native wildlife are important to the conservation of the unique fauna criollo dogs to protect their livestock from predators. Although their family farms are small, and they often struggle to maintain their livelihood, the herders are committed to sustainable production for the good of their land, livestock, and native wildlife.

“We are watching a Wildlife Friendly™ fiber movement unfold right now across Patagonia” said Julie Stein, Executive Director and Co-founder of WFEN. “Part of our mission is to create communities of practice that share innovations, challenges and successes across landscapes. These Programa Mohair herders and a growing number of ranching neighbors are at the leading edge of that effort. Designers, consumers and companies are taking note of their compelling stories of coexistence. Each step forward by these producers has been the result of hard work, and is thrilling to witness. We congratulate these heroes of conservation for their actions.”

Consumers wishing to purchase these responsibly produced fibers can write to ventas.fibrasdelviento@gmail.com or coopeagropezapala@gmail.com

Products made from mohair and mohair-merino blends. Credit: Susan Walker

###

About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

WFEN and its Certified Wildlife Friendly®, Predator Friendly®, Certified Gorilla Friendly™, Jaguar and Sea Turtle Friendly™ certification programs represent grassroots farmers, ranchers, artisans, indigenous peoples and conservation heroes from around the world including two World Bank Development Marketplace Award winners, a U.N. Equator Prize winner, leadership in the world’s marketplace for REDD+ Carbon Offsets, a Time Hero for the Planet, and a National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee. Certified Wildlife Friendly® products contribute to the conservation of over twelve million hectares of diverse wetlands, forests, and grasslands; protect keystone endangered species in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin and North America, including the Snow Leopard, Elephant, Tiger, Cheetah, Red Panda, and Wolf; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

About WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.

Visit: www.wcsargentina.org;

http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS;
http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia
Follow: @thewcs

Contact:

Wildlife Friendly

Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

 

certified-wildlife-friendly-southern-elephant-seal-logo_1

WCS Argentina’s Patagonian Fibers with a Conscience™ Program and Certified Wildlife Friendly™ Ranchers Make Wool Available Sustainable Fashion Buyers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Puerto madryn, Argentina (November 4, 2016)—The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) and the Wildlife Conservation Society-Argentina (WCS) are pleased to announce traceable Certified Wildlife Friendly® wool—part of the “Patagonian Fibers with a Conscience” program—from the “Merino de Peninsula Valdés™” ranchers who raise wool in coexistence with wildlife on Peninsula Valdés. The traceable certified wool is now available for purchase through a new online portal.

Photo © Ricardo Baldi

Photo © Ricardo Baldi

WCS Argentina supports the ranchers of the Merino Peninsula Valdés™ group who are committed to managing their ranches to allow healthy populations of guanacos, rheas, and maras to co-exist with their sheep, and to use non-lethal methods to control predation by pumas, chilla foxes, and Geoffroy’s and pampas cats. Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina (FVSA) will provide third-party verification of compliance with commitments and collaborate with WCS to monitor impacts on wildlife. “We all agree in making the coexistence between sheep ranching and healthy wildlife a long-term achievement,” said Alejandro Arias, coordinator of the FVSA program in Península Valdés.

Península Valdés is a 4,000square-kilometer (1,544 square miles) protected area in Patagonia, declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1999. Compared to other sites in the region, the steppe of Península Valdés still harbors significant populations of native wildlife, and its waters are critical habitat for southern right whales, sea lions, and elephant seals during reproduction. Although a management plan has been effective in conserving coastal wildlife, the land is privately owned and sheep ranching is widespread within the area.

“These ranchers are committed to implement wildlife-friendly practices because they are convinced that their economic futures are better served by moving away from maximizing sheep stocking rates on their ranches and adding value by conserving native species at Península Valdés, an emblematic site of Patagonia. To achieve our goals, we are implementing management actions based on scientific research on wildlife ecology,” said Ricardo Baldi, a scientist from CONICET, the Argentine national science agency, and consultant for WCS.

Photo © Ricardo Baldi

Photo © Ricardo Baldi

“’Patagonian Fibers with a Conscience™’ serves as an inspiring example of how to combine sustainability with effective conservation,” said Dr. Guillermo Harris, Director of WCS’s Argentina Program. “We’re showing that we can protect guanacos and other wildlife and support the local economy. It’s a win-win for Peninsula Valdés.” WCS work with these ranchers is supported by the USFWS Wildlife without Borders program.

“We’ve had keen interest in this wool from the sustainable fashion industry,” said Julie Stein, Executive Director of WFEN, a global community dedicated to enterprises that contribute to the conservation of threatened wildlife and to the economic vitality of rural landscapes. “It’s very exciting.  For example, luxury-brand Bolek, has utilized this wool for their upcoming knitwear capsule collection.“

“Projects like Wildlife Friendly® and Merino de Peninsula Valdés™ give new designers like me the unique opportunity to do what is right from the beginning,” said Sarah Chojecki, founder of Bolek.   Ms. Chojecki, a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, is headquartered in New York City and curated a partnership with Wildlife Friendly® on the basis that consumers should have ecological awareness and sustainability in the forefront of their minds when purchasing.

Sarah Chojecki of luxury brand Bolek

Sarah Chojecki of luxury brand Bolek

“This is one of the only landscapes in the world where wool is produced adjacent to a thriving marine ecosystem. It’s special,” Ms. Chojecki mused. “To have ranchers that go the extra mile to allow wildlife to have a safe refuge on private lands. It’s important. More individuals should be like this.”

“We applaud forward thinking designers like Ms. Chojecki for building wildlife and sustainability into the DNA of their companies,” said Ms. Stein.

The shearing season in Patagonia occurs during October and November and wool is available for purchase beginning in December of each year. To learn more about wool specifications please visit the Merino de Península Valdés website. To inquire about purchasing Certified Wildlife Friendly® wool from the Merino de Península Valdés™ group please contact Merino de Peninsula Valdés

###

About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

WFEN and its Certified Wildlife Friendly®, Predator Friendly®, Certified Gorilla Friendly™, Jaguar and Sea Turtle Friendly™ certification programs represent grassroots farmers, ranchers, artisans, indigenous peoples and conservation heroes from around the world including two World Bank Development Marketplace Award winners, a U.N. Equator Prize winner, leadership in the world’s marketplace for REDD+ Carbon Offsets, a Time Hero for the Planet, and a National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee. Certified Wildlife Friendly® products contribute to the conservation of over twelve million hectares of diverse wetlands, forests, and grasslands; protect keystone endangered species in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin and North America, including the Snow Leopard, Elephant, Tiger, Cheetah, Red Panda, and Wolf; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

About the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission.

Visit: www.wcs.org;

http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS;

http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia

Follow: @thewcs

Contact: 

Wildlife Friendly 

Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

SOURCE LOGO WITH TAGLINEWildlife Friendly Enterprise Network Member 

Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network Teams Up in Unique Partnership with Ethical Fashion Forum and its SOURCE Netork

Ethical Fashion Forum and Wildlife Friendly® Join Efforts to Showcase Sustainable Fashion Combining Substance and Style for the Benefit of People and the Planet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

London – Feb. 17, 2014 – The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), an organization dedicated to the development, certification and marketing of products that conserve threatened wildlife while contributing to the economic vitality of local communities, is pleased to announce that it has joined forces with the Ethical Fashion Forum’s SOURCE Network in a unique new partnership. SOURCE Network, the global platform for sustainable fashion which provides tools and services for the fashion and textiles industries, and WFEN, with a network comprised of the worlds experts on wildlife conservation and sustainable development, will work together to promote conservation of some of the world’s most endangered species, living next to some of the most economically disadvantaged communities, in some of the most spectacular landscapes left on earth through sustainable fashion, working from field to final product to promote responsible production practices, enterprise development, education, branding and retail.

As part of this partnership WFEN also welcomes Ethical Fashion Forum as its 3rd Founding Corporate Member.  Julie Stein, co-founder and Executive Director of WFEN said “We are fielding increased interest from the sustainable fashion world in ‘greening’ their supply chains through Wildlife Friendly® sourcing.  This is a fantastic opportunity for both organizations to raise awareness and increase impact. We believe this two-way partnership will build on that growing momentum truly combining style with substance for global consumers.”

One channel through which WFEN expects to reach these consumers is via a regular expert guest column for SOURCE Intelligence, the largest B2B resource for sustainable fashion. The Wildlife Friendly® certified ‘cashmere with a conscience’ project lead by the Wildlife Conservation Society was featured by Ethical Fashion Forum’s SOURCE Intelligence in an article exploring fashions ‘wild’ side and sourcing with conservation in mind.

In addition, WFEN and its certified enterprises are already benefitting by effectively expanding the reach of often rural and remote enterprises through online and in person events. The Wildlife Friendly® certified Women for Conservation project which works with women living in the buffer zone outside of two important bird reserves in Colombia, recently participated in a curated global showcase for sustainable fashion called Brand Preview enabling them to access a worldwide audience through Ethical Fashion Forum’s 7000 members in 130 countries. This sustainably produced jewelry line not only empowers women artisans to become financially independent but makes them conservation pioneers and catalysts for change in their own communities through linked initiatives to protect two critically endangered birds, El Paujil de Pico Azul (Crax alberti) and the Santa Marta Parakeet (Pyrrhura viridicata), both endemic to Colombia. Read more »