Johannesburg, 3 July 2023: This year marks ten years since the passing of former president Nelson Mandela, and one retailer plans to plant trees to honour the iconic statesman’s visionary life. Through a campaign dubbed “It’s in your hands, let’s plant our schools green,” the Cotton On Group aims to plant trees in schools supported by the Cotton On Foundation in South Africa. Symbolizing the visionary leader’s lasting contribution to South African society, the intention is to benefit these areas for many years to come.
Through its chain of stores that include Cotton On, Factorie and Typo, shoppers are encouraged to support the initiative by purchasing Cotton On Foundation products such as tote bags, breath mints, wipes and sanitizers that are available both online and at the till points in these stores. The full proceeds of the sale of these items, from 3 – 23 July 2023, will be channelled to planting trees at the schools that the Cotton On Foundation supports in KwaZulu-Natal, namely Ethekwini Primary and Dr JL Dube High School, which it is currently rebuilding. Shoppers are also welcome to donate to the project.
This year, the Cotton On Foundation has already raised and donated sufficient funds to plant 85 000 trees as part of the Kruger to Canyons, Blyde Expansion Restoration Pilot in Mpumalanga. This restoration project aims to re-establish the area’s indigenous plant communities and therefore improve species diversity and ecosystem functioning. By planting trees in schools, the Foundation now aims to extend the numerous benefits of greener spaces to learners.
Trees play a vital role in enhancing the quality of life in densely populated areas. Acting as natural air purifiers by absorbing harmful pollutants and releasing oxygen, trees contribute to noise reduction, providing a peaceful atmosphere amidst the hustle and bustle of city life. At schools, they provide psychological benefits, with studies showing that exposure to green spaces and trees can reduce stress and enhance overall well-being. Schools with greenery provide peaceful environments for learners.
Award-winning local artist Marc-Gregory designed an iconic art piece for the T-shirts that will be worn by store staff throughout the month of July, to create excitement around the campaign, while avoiding paper-printed point-of-sale materials. The artwork subtly alludes to Madiba’s presence in the leaves of a tree, created featuring the colours of the South African flag. View the inspiration for the design here.
“Trees are invaluable assets in all areas, and particularly in schools as they enhance sustainability, health, and the overall tranquillity of the learning environment” said Cotton On Foundation ambassador Nomzamo Mbatha. “It is up to all of us to plant and protect these valuable living organisms that contribute greatly to our quality of life, and the quality of life we are able to provide for future generations. I encourage all Cotton On shoppers to support this important campaign that has the potential to improve the conditions and well-being of learners,” she added.