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Monday, August 06, 2007

Bono's wife unveils African Conservation Cotton Initiative

EDUN a socially conscious, sustainable clothing company launched in 2005 by Bono’s wife Ali Hewson and clothing designer Rogan Gregory, recently announced unveiled the Conservation Cotton Initiative (CCI).

Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society  Organic cotton farmers in Zambia.
The initiative works towards improving the livelihoods of communities in Africa by promoting greater investment in sustainable and ethical production of conservation-friendly agricultural products.

CCI's focus is on organically grown cotton production methods that, in part, transition from conventional, traditional farming practices used for decades by the farmers in that region.

Their further goal is to incorporate sustainable agricultural practices that can successfully coexist alongside efforts to protect local wildlife. To that end CCI has partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which currently works on sustainable conservation farming in Madagascar, Uganda and Zambia.

EDUN and the WCS hope that by working directly with local farmers to promote “conservation cotton” they can improve the livelihoods of communities living and working in landscapes crucial to wildlife.

In well-managed landscapes, where higher incomes are possible, the negative impact of people and farming in particular on their local natural habitats is often lessened. The effort is expected to generate funds that will go directly back to the community to support sustainable natural resource management in African nations.

“Eighty percent of Africans live directly off the land, so it is imperative that Africa’s natural resources are managed sustainably,” said Dr. James Deutsch, WCS director for Africa programs. “Working with EDUN, which has been a global leader in promoting markets in Africa, is a natural fit for the Wildlife Conservation Society", he said.

The project deployed in 2007 will continue over the next three years to increase production of organic cotton and farmer incomes while protecting key conservation areas. Additional partners in the project include local governments, donors, NGOs and others involved in the production and marketing of organic cotton in the focal countries.

Greener Magazine


EDUN is a socially conscious clothing company launched in spring 2005 by Ali Hewson and Bono with New York clothing designer Rogan Gregory. The company's mission is to create beautiful clothing, while fostering sustainable employment in developing areas of the world, in particular Africa. In 2005, EDUN launched the edun LIVE brand of blank t-shirts. The edun LIVE range enables EDUN to drive further trade into Africa through high-volume sales direct to the wholesale market. The tees are 100% African produced, from the fields where the cotton is picked, to the factory where the final printing process occurs.

Edun live available online at http://www.edun-live.com/.

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