Russell James attended a special session with former US President Bill Clinton and Haiti President Martelly on Monday evening. During the meeting President Clinton announced the commitment Nomad has made to Haiti in partnership with Urban Zen and Donna Karan.
The Clinton Global Initiative in New York finishes today and Russell James and other 'Nomaders' head to Perth for CHOGM. International press reported the announcement and extracts from WWD are below:
"Fashion's Key Role in Rebuilding Haiti
By Arthur Friedman
NEW YORK — The apparel industry is playing a crucial role in helping to rebuild Haiti less than two years after a devastating earthquake brought ruin to the impoverished Caribbean country.
Former President Bill Clinton unveiled several initiatives through the Clinton Global Initiative Monday night to help rebuild the island nation, including an $85 million investment from South Korean manufacturer Sae-A Trading Corp. to be the anchor in the new 617-acre Northern Industrial Park free trade zone, where it aims to create 20,000 jobs.
Other programs include a collaboration between Nomad Two Worlds and Donna Karan's Urban Zen Foundation to launch an $180,000 initiative to create sustainable employment opportunities for Haitian artists and spur art-inspired tourism.
"I can't say enough about Donna Karan," Clinton told the audience at the CGI annual meeting at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on Seventh Avenue here. "She's been my friend for 20 years and she makes me look like I am passive in my passion for Haiti."
Clinton said Sae-A's decision to build its apparel factory represents "the biggest investment commitment in the history of Haiti. It will include the first textile mill in the history of the country.
"Sae-A went from donating 100,000 articles of clothing right after the earthquake to soon becoming one of the largest employers in the country," said Clinton. "Even though it went through a terrible tragedy, this is the best opportunity for Haiti in my lifetime to build a society and a country worthy of its people."
Clinton asked Sae-A chairman Woong-Ki Kim why he and his company would choose to invest in Haiti. "Haiti's close proximity to the U.S. gives it the advantage of shorter delivery times when nowadays speed-to-market is so important," said Kim, speaking through an interpreter. "Haiti has an abundant and motivated labor supply and this is critical to a manufacturing operation that will employ thousands of workers. Haiti's preferential trade agreement with the U.S. gives our U.S.-based customers duty free entry." (more here)