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  


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.



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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;
Follow: @thewcs


Maydi: contact@maydiaz.com

Conicet: Ricardo Baldi: rbaldi@wcs.org

WCS: Stephen Sautner; ssautner@wcs.org

Wildlife Friendly: Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org

Queen of Raw logo

Certified Wildlife Friendly® materials now featured to pro-wildlife fashion designers


NEW YORK CITY, NY: – 19 APRIL 2017 – Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), a

global community dedicated to developing products that protect wildlife and bring economic vitality to rural landscapes, is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with Queen of Raw, an online platform that sells innovative and sustainable raw materials to designers around the world.

Each Wildlife Friendly® fiber or material sourced from Queen of Raw is supporting coexistence efforts in some of the most spectacular landscapes left on earth and is improving the livelihoods of people who hold the fate of the world’s most endangered

wildlife in their hands. WFEN products include Lemur-friendly silk and raffia from Madagascar, merino wool from ranchers coexisting with Guanacos and other wildlife on Peninsula Valdes in Patagonia, Argentina, felt and yarn supporting the survival of Snow Leopards in Mongolia, beadwork as an alternative livelihood to illegal poaching in Kenya, and Italian cashmere produced in harmony with Wolves.

By purchasing Wildlife Friendly® products through Queen of Raw, designers and their consumers will be empowered to create change on the ground for people and wildlife. This unique partnership will make Queen of Raw a Founding WFEN Corporate Network Member along with other leading edge companies in the global fashion industry, including Kering and Stella McCartney.

“We’re fielding keen interest in Wildlife Friendly® Certified fibers and raw materials from the sustai

Beadwork as an alternative livelihood to illegal poaching in Kenya. (Photo courtesy of Joanna Brown)

Beadwork as an alternative livelihood to illegal poaching in Kenya. (Photo courtesy of Joanna Brown)

nable fashion world” said Julie Stein, Executive Director and Co-Founder of WFEN, “and this new partnership with Queen of Raw will showcase our network’s conse

rvation heroes, artisans, and farmers, many of whom are women, to designers seeking sustainable sourcing options in New York City and beyond. We couldn’t be more excited to be working with Stephanie and her team.”

“Queen of Raw was founded to fill the gap between supply and demand in the raw materials supply chain” said Stephanie Benedetto, CEO and Co-Founder of Queen of Raw, “and working with Julie and a powerful organization like WFEN will allow us to accomplish our goals while contributing to a sustainable, waste-eliminating fashion environment. Together we can change the world!”



About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

WFEN and its certification programs represent grassroots farmers, ranchers, artisans, indigenous peoples, and conservation heroes from around the world. This includes 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. They also protect keystone endangered species in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin and North America – including the snow leopard, tiger, elephant, 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 Queen of Raw

Queen of Raw is the online destination for designers to source cutting-edge raw materials directly from suppliers. Its global suppliers have been selected for their innovative raw materials, values around sustainability, and avant-garde approach to fashion and technology. Queen of Raw was recently named a NASA/NIKE/IKEA/U.S. Dept. of State LAUNCH.org Innovator. With family roots in the fashion and textiles business for over 100 years, its CEO serves on the Board of Advisors of the New York City Fair Trade Coalition and as co-host on Material Is Your Business podcast. For more information visit: www.queenofraw.com







Queen of Raw

Stephanie Benedetto: stephanie@queenofraw.com

Wildlife Friendly

Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org







Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network Member



Stella McCartney Becomes the First Global Fashion Brand to Support the Development of Wildlife Friendly® Products That Help People and the Planet


London – April 17 2014 – The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network  (WFEN), a global community dedicated to supporting products that conserve threatened wildlife and contribute to economic vitality in rural landscapes, and Stella McCartney, a brand with a commitment to sustainability, are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership dedicated to protecting wildlife.

WFEN Corporate Network Members are working towards sourcing Wildlife Friendly® products through their own supply chains and share the WFEN vision for a world where people and wildlife not only coexist but thrive. WFEN Corporate Members are committed to creating beautiful products that are made in a manner that respect the producers, land, and wildlife. Stella McCartney, supports WFEN in its mission to empower and educate consumers and to create change on the ground by providing a market incentive for farmers, ranchers and local communities to improve their production practices. By linking the worlds of sustainable agriculture and sustainable fashion, each garment produced has the potential to tell a story about responsible consumption and can support sustainability throughout the fashion supply chain.

“This unique partnership will benefit global consumers by providing a wider range of truly Wildlife Friendly® choices and enabling them to vote their values with their pocketbooks,” said Julie Stein, Executive Director of Certified Wildlife Friendly®. “Stella McCartney has consistently embraced a Triple Bottom Line approach to business. We applaud the brand’s leadership in initiating efforts towards responsible sourcing across a range of Wildlife Friendly® fibers, textiles and raw materials from around the globe. We don’t have to choose among people, planet or profit, but instead can work to benefit both business and biodiversity.”

WFEN membership is open to businesses and non-governmental organizations who are committed to the WFEN mission and who actively contribute to Wildlife Friendly® business practices. This contribution may be through building Wildlife Friendly® supply chains, production, sourcing and selling Certified Wildlife Friendly® products, building increased awareness and demand with consumers, and implementing best practices for biodiversity conservation and business.

About Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney is a 50/50 joint venture partnership between Ms. Stella McCartney and Kering established in 2001. A lifelong vegetarian, Stella McCartney does not use any leather or fur in her designs. The brand’s ready-to-wear, accessories, lingerie, fragrance, kids and adidas by Stella McCartney collections are available through 35 other free-standing stores including London, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Milan and Shanghai, as well around 600 wholesale accounts in key cities worldwide. For additional information, please visit: www.stellamccartney.com. Read more »