United States President Barack Obama was photographed wearing an Untouched World jumper in the White House Oval Office.Mr Obama donned the dark grey merino and possum-blend pullover as he made Thanksgiving Day phone calls to US troops and service members from behind the most famous desk in the US.Untouched World CEO Peri Drysdale is thrilled with the “happy accident”.”What’s really nice about it is that it’s something he’s gotten up in the morning and chosen to wear, so it’s really cool,” she says.
Mr Obama is the second US President to be pictured in Untouched World clothing. Bill Clinton has been a fan ever since being given one of the brand’s shirts at the Apec conference in 1999.
The Untouched World™ Charitable Trust (UWCT)
Chair’s statement (Peri Drysdale)
“Back in 1981 when I established Snowy Peak Ltd, the parent company of Untouched World™, New Zealand was largely a primary industry farming based economy.
Snowy Peak pioneered the development of luxury knitwear using New Zealand’s finest natural fibres such as merino, super fine mohair and cashmere. Snowy Peak garments made in New Zealand were sold in Australasia, North America, Europe and Asia.
I became concerned as I travelled around the world with my suitcase of knitwear samples, that the planet was unable to support the current trajectory of growth. Already whole tracts of ocean were so polluted that they no longer supported life of any kind; indigenous peoples were being made homeless by climatic effects of the relentless harvesting of forests and entire wildlife habitats were disappearing.
The western world was focussed on GDP growth at any cost, while the third world struggled to survive. The world was clearly interdependent, yet recognition of these issues and more so, action to reverse the direction in which we were all headed was slow to come. So what could be done about it?
From the establishment of Snowy Peak Ltd in 1981, long before the word ‘sustainability’ was used or heard in a business context, our philosophy has been to provide a platform for growth of the human spirit based on a foundation of environmental sustainability and renewal. It would be easy to say ‘the problem is too big for me’ and leave the challenge for our children and their children to deal with. I knew however that every one person, every one organisation can make a difference.”
Peri Drysdale, Untouched World™ Charitable Trust Chair.
The Untouched World™ Charitable Trust (UWCT), funded by Untouched World, was established in 2000, after two years of research into how we could make the most difference beyond the reach of the business, with profits made from the business activity.
The work of the UWCT is focussed on delivering ground breaking “Leadership for a Sustainable Future” programmes across New Zealand. Our programmes facilitate and profoundly inspire young New Zealander’s to gain greater awareness of their own untapped and unrealised potential. Gaining an understanding of the interrelationship and interconnectedness of all things, and developing practical action competence to make a difference in their lives, we are proud to play a role in preparing young leaders who will go on to have a global impact.
All of the Untouched World™ Charitable Trust programmes are focused on addressing key concepts:
1. Building awareness within each student of their own potential, their real capability, developed through the rigour, multifaceted challenge and leadership opportunities within the programmes,
2. How to work cooperatively and collaboratively
3. Building awareness of the interconnectedness of all actions and inactions in a way that leads to leadership and action competence for a sustainable future
To play a leading role in the creation of a world where each individual’s full potential is realised while assisting the planet to sustain its ability to support current and future generations.
The main focus of the Untouched World™ Charitable Trust is building leadership capability both for 16 -17 year olds, and pre-service teachers beginning their teaching career. The students and pre-service teachers are mentored by lecturers, teachers and community educators from a range of backgrounds. Professional Development opportunities for DOC and other related program expertise also continues to grow as we enter our 12th operating year.
Marlborough Sounds – Island Restoration
The Blumine Island project is the Trust’s foundation programme where we have been working for over a decade. Focused on returning the island to its original state, without introduced predators, and then developing a sanctuary for native animal and plant species at risk.
Key outcomes are:
- Youth leadership through personal experience
- Predator free status, leading to the reintroduction of Kiwi
- Feedback planning and action – in a context of biodiversity
- Cultural best practice and conservation
- Evaluation and implementation of new ideas
- Encouraging community benefits for the Marlborough Sounds