The collection, 75 percent of which is made from fair-trade cotton, is manufactured in Africa and inspired by the region’s “landscape and climate,” Puma said. For fall, it includes pieces such as rugged shirts, T-shirts printed with photographs by the German safari photographer Michael Poliza and a distressed chukka boot.
The collection is linked with Wilderness Holdings Ltd., a conservation and eco-tourism company that supports biodiversity conservation and the development of rural communities across nine African countries. (Puma has a 20 percent stake in the organization.) Additionally, Wilderness Holdings provides the design cues for the line.
Puma noted that using fair-trade cotton in the line means that a minimum price for cotton is set in specific regions, with the aim of covering the cost of cotton that is “sustainable, environmentally friendly and socially beneficial,” the firm stated. Puma also will pay farmers a fair-trade premium, an additional sum that farmers can invest in joint projects such as education, health care and farm improvements.
“We have set high but also achievable targets in our aim of becoming the most desirable and sustainable sports lifestyle company, and our partnership with Fairtrade [International] plays a central role in achieving these,” said Franz Koch, CEO of Puma. “There is a fast-growing consumer demand for products [that] are sustainable and fairly traded, and the Puma Wilderness collection … offers a collection of products that answers this need.”
By 2013, Puma aims for the entire Wilderness apparel collection to be manufactured using fair-trade cotton.