Argentine Brand Julieta Grana Launches Wildlife Friendly™ Fibers for FW2021 Line
Julieta Grana partners with WCS in Argentina, Patagonian herders, and WFEN to tell the story of sustainable fashion through sourcing homegrown fibers for her eponymous boutique in Buenos Aires
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BUENOS AIRES ARGENTINA – 8 JUNE 2021 – Julieta Grana recently joined the select group of Argentine brands to feature Certified Wildlife Friendly™ (WFEN) fibers in her newest line. Working with mohair and merino wool, Grana’s purchase of these sustainably sourced fibers makes both her brand and its consumers active participants in the conservation of Argentina’s wildlife. Species like guanacos, a migratory camelid that has coevolved with and shaped the country’s iconic grasslands, the rhea, a giant flightless bird, and the puma, the apex predator of Patagonia, find safe havens on the ranches and lands certified by this program.
As a conscious brand, Julieta Grana has been committed from its beginning to responsible production by sourcing in small batches, creating partnerships with independent local suppliers, and actively participating in each stage of the production chain.
“Our value proposition is about garments that will last a lifetime, are unique and made by hand. Each piece honors an Argentine sourced raw material and local artisans with traditional knowledge. We seek out suppliers who can guarantee a quality raw material, which is aligned with our values from its origins and production. For us it is a great pleasure and responsibility to be part of this project,” said Julieta Grana.
Back at the other end of the supply chain the on-the-ground partner in this effort is the Wildlife Conservation Society in Argentina (WCS) managing the monitoring and compliance commitments of the producers. Certified producers commit to using sustainable practices and non-lethal tools to protect livestock and mitigate conflicts with the native carnivores and scavengers of Patagonia.
“Thanks to land use changes and conservation measures in Patagonia in recent decades, carnivores that frequently attack livestock, like pumas and culpeo foxes, have increased in density and distribution throughout the region. Mitigating the conflict between these carnivores and livestock we help other components of the ecosystem, such as threatened Andean condors and Andean cats, which often suffer the consequences of lethal protective measures that herders implement when they do not have access to protective tools like guarding dogs”, says Andrés Novaro, INIBIOMA-CONICET (Argentine Science Agency) researcher and Senior Consultant for WCS Argentina.
“One of the most interesting aspects of this certification is that it is not about imposing certain management conditions on the producer and then auditing compliance with them, but that it rather involves working together to solve a problem: the conflict between livestock and wild carnivores. It is the decision to change the paradigm and achieve livestock production that develops in harmony with the environment,” explains Ezequiel Infantino, who is WCS Argentina´s Field Work Coordinator in Neuquén province.
There is growing interest from herders in this effort. Flavio Castillo is a producer from the Cooperativa Agropecuaria de Comercialización de Pequeños Productores de Neuquén, certified by WFEN, who works together with WCS to promote coexistence.
Said Castillo: “Predator attacks are common, and losses are significant. There are several species of carnivores, such as puma, fox, wildcat, pampa´s cat, and Andean cat. We adopted non-lethal tools because even though we have always been hunting, trapping, killing carnivores…it has never been effective in reducing our losses.”
A livestock guardian dog, dubbed ‘Ezequiel’ after the WCS coordinator of the program, was provided to the herders by WCS Argentina and represents a hopeful solution for Mr. Castillo.
“With the dog, we can co-exist with carnivores and protect our livestock.” Castillo says. “Wildlife belongs here, and we have to protect and co-exist with it.”
For WFEN, this is a model project that it is hoped can be scaled across Argentina and around the world.
“WCS in Argentina and WFEN have a longstanding collaboration working together for conservation of wildlife and rancher and herder livelihoods – our efforts are now yielding dividends for both. We are thrilled to welcome Julieta Grana to the Wildlife Friendly™ family of brands and our sustainable fashion network. The brands who are sourcing these fibers have garnered consistent media attention from the fashion industry and have become ‘ambassadors’ for Wildlife Friendly™ fibers showcasing how sustainable homegrown fibers can help revive the local fiber processing industry and contribute to the Argentine economy – all elements of a successful ‘fibershed’,” said Julie Stein, Executive Director and Co-founder of WFEN.
About Julieta Grana
About the WCS Argentina
WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans. Active in Argentina since the 1960s, it works to preserve the diversity of wildlife that makes this country unique and to restore its landscapes in the face of growing threats. For more information visit: https://argentina.wcs.org/, follow: @WCSArgentina, or contact Florencia Lemoine, Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, +54 9 11 33171923
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 over fourteen million hectares of diverse wetlands, forests, and grasslands; protect keystone endangered species in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin and North America, including the slow loris, snow leopard, elephant, cheetah, red panda, and wolf; and benefit over 400,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org, Instagram: @wildlifefriendly, Twitter: @wfen
Julieta Grana: email@example.com
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.
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.
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.”
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.