While its high quality fashion items already set Untouched World™ ahead of the bunch, the company is also carving a leadership role through its focus on helping create a positive, sustainable future.
The Untouched World™ Charitable Trust is part of the Drysdale’s commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability.
Established in 2000, the Trust provides young adults with opportunities to stretch and develop their potential, and inspires them to lead the way through a shift in thinking and decision-making that leads to positive choices and sustainable actions.
Central to the Trust’s beliefs is the need for a new approach to teaching and learning – one that combines experiential learning with co-operative and inquiry-based learning, and values innovation, effective planning and capable actions. These beliefs directly mirror the values and aspirations of the company itself, which has recently been recognised by the United Nations—in a world first for a fashion company, Untouched World has been accorded the right to display UNDESD (United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development) accreditation on its garments.
Four student-centred programmes are offered for school students in years 11–13, as well as newly trained teachers about to begin their classroom career. Lecturers, teachers and community educators from a range of backgrounds help mentor participants’ leadership capability. Collaborative partnerships with universities, the Department of Conservation (DOC), local government, the private sector and fellow non-government organisations, such as Kiwis for kiwi, are central to the success of these programmes.
The four programmes are:
On Blumine Island, in the Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough. Having restored the Island, work is now focused on returning it to its original state and creating a sanctuary for at-risk native animal and plant species. The task ahead, working with DOC and Kiwis for kiwi, is to maintain the Island’s predator-free status and ensure kiwi and other species can return.
In Canterbury and Otago, Untouched World™ Charitable Trust’s latest programme is a partnership with Meridian Energy, Ngāi Tahu and DOC, exploring how choices about water affect waste, land and resource management.
On the West Coast, at Okarito, the Trust is working with DOC and Kiwis for kiwi to improve the habitat for rowi.
Kiwi recovery in Tongariro National Park—more on this below.
Kiwi Forever, in Tongariro National Park, is the Untouched World™ Charitable Trust’s core Kiwi conservation programme, developed in partnership with Kiwis for kiwi. It is now a 3-way partnership that also includes DOC.
Kiwi Forever combines a school resource developed by Kiwis for kiwi with Untouched World’s successful educational model.
The programme is based at Ngati Rangi marae at the foot of the mountain. It delivers a strong cultural focus as it examines the challenges the flightless kiwi faces in its fight for survival. The programme highlights the importance of learning to work cooperatively, understanding the spiritual connection of Māori to the kiwi and the personal satisfaction of helping to save endangered species.
Every purchase of an Untouched World™ product provides a contribution to the work of the Untouched World™ Charitable Trust, which is funded from company profits.
The Trust’s executive director is Mark Prain
Postal address: PO Box 578, Christchurch 8140
Phone: 03 371 9162