The Burberry Foundation has teamed up with the charity Oxfam and social business PUR Projet on a five-year project to support sustainable cashmere production in Afghanistan.
The project will provide training and tools to rural communities relying on agriculture and livestock such as cashmere goats to provide their livelihoods.
Afghanistan is the world’s third largest producer of cashmere, exporting around 1,000 tons a year. The country faces many challenges due to on-going conflict and poverty.
Oxfam and PUR Projet will collaborate with local goat herders to develop community-owned cooperatives, and provide training, services, and access to markets to support sustainable farming. Women will be an integral part of the running of these cooperatives and will be provided with leadership training.
Leane Wood, chief people, strategy, and corporate affairs officer at Burberry and trustee of the Burberry Foundation said: “There is enormous potential for the Afghan cashmere industry and we believe our program will deliver resources that will go some way to making it a profitable and sustainable industry for local communities.”
Pierric Jammes, co-founder and managing director of PUR Projet, said: “It is through such partnerships that innovative solutions can be found to drive true change and support local communities in their endeavours to bring themselves out of poverty and manage their natural resources sustainably. We strongly believe that this will be a demonstration of the true potential of businesses to engage in positive change and support our global community.”
The Burberry Group has committed to supporting 1m people in the communities that provide materials and services to the luxury industry over the next five years.