IKEA Foundation donates 43 million to Somalian refugees

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has announced today that the IKEA Foundation is donating 43 million euro to spend on emergency aid in the world's largest refugee camp, Dadaab in Kenya. The gift is said to be the largest private donation ever made to the UNHCR.


The Dadaab camp opened in 1990 to accommodate people who fled Somalia because of the war and droughts in the East-African country. The camp was meant to be used by 90,000 people, but it is currently home to 440,000 – over 150,000 have Somalia in the last few months.


While Ikea's help can 'only' aid 120,000 people, this huge donation comes “at a critical time”, according to UN High Commissioner António Guterres. The Ikea foundation, founded to promote architecture and interior design, expanded its scope to children's rights and education when parent company Ikea was attacked for using child labour in its supply chain. In 2009, the Foundation widened its attention further to the general improvement of living conditions in the third world.


Esprit launches limited edition merino collection

This year, fashion brand Esprit will launch several limited edition collections in cooperation with “smaller scale” producers and designers. The first to receive this global platform is Gostwyck Farm, an Australian producer of sustainable merino wool. 

"Cashmere-like wool from happy sheep"

According to Philip Attard, Gostwyck Farm's owner, his wool is special because it feels like cashmere and it is produced ethically and with great attention for the sheep's well-being. Colin Henry, Esprit's Chief Product Officer, agrees: "We are proud to be the first company to set such high standards for the quality and origin of the fibre we use in this Esprit limited edition, but also to drive high levels in terms of animal care and sustainability, which gives the range a greater sense of achievement and purpose”.


The Gostwyck Merin collection will hit the (selected) stores in September in Europe, Asia, New-Zealand and Australia itself. It will consist of a cowl neck, cable knit sweater, an essential button through cardigan and stylish jumper dress – each costing between 90 and 120 euro. 

  • Published in Fashion

Less packaging = lower costs + more goodwill

An overwhelming majority of the British would like to reduce their waste production to zero, says research service IGD. 70% is in favour of recycling all packaging, composting all organic waste and... actually eating all the food they bought.


Save up to 530 euro for a household, up to 2 billion for Wal-Mart (per year)

WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), a programme through which authorities and companies work to use materials as efficiently as possible, calculated that every British home can save up to £480 (€530) – mainly in food that is now bought just to be thrown away later.

All of this would not mean that ecology would cost retailers dearly – on the contrary: they can make a lot of money with it. Wal-Mart for example was able to save over two billion euro as a result of using less packaging. Even for a company as huge as Wal-Mart, whose profit rose over 15 billion dollar last year, this is an enormous amount of money.

Wal-Mart logoOther American retailers have been following Wal-Mart's successful example: SuperValue has decided to decrease waste production by 90% in 40 of its supermarkets. This is of course a different scale than Wal-Mart's 4400, but it still helps. Moves like these also add to the good, green image of retailers – which in turn generates goodwill with potential future customers.


A strong incentive - and a stronger warning

Even though “green” is good, for retailers profitability is paramount – and also for consumers this is important: many Britons want to receive a compensation for the effort these measures will take, like a tax cut or a direct cash bonus. But even without this compensation, 62% of the British is “in theory” in favour of recycling – even more if the packages are picked up from each doorstep.

Moreover, 60% says they will use reusable bags in the future to go shopping, but even more important: 36% vow to boycott products with too much packaging. Suppliers will have to listen to this warning, and not only to reduce their own costs...



  • Published in Food
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