An image of boys tending to their flock in Afghanistan.

POSITIVE IMPACT: The Burberry Foundation has teamed with Oxfam and Pur Projet — a social business that develops positive impact projects — on a new cashmere-related program in Afghanistan aimed at helping rural communities.

“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,” said Leanne Wood, a trustee of the Burberry Foundation and chief people, strategy and corporate affairs officer at Burberry.

Afghanistan is the third-largest global maker of cashmere material and the five-year community project will work with groups that reside in rural areas and rely on agriculture and livestock such as cashmere goats.

The program will assist local herders in creating community-run cooperatives and will train them with skills and provide services in an effort to help economic growth. The initiative is focused on helping local districts build a more sustainable cashmere industry.

The initiative aims to aid rural communities as a part of its responsibility agenda to create a more sustainable future through innovation.

Last November, the Burberry Foundation announced that it is handing a three million pounds grant to Oxfam to help struggling communities in the Italian region of Tuscany, once a thriving hub of luxury leather and clothing manufacturing. The foundation grant has been earmarked to support “community cohesion” and help struggling families in the region, which is facing increasing levels of poverty, youth unemployment and economic migration as traditional manufacturing dwindles.

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