Giorgio Armani and L’Oréal are poised to renew their “Acqua for Life” initiative to stimulate greater awareness about water safety and scarcity. As was the case in 2011, Armani’s Acqua di GiÃ² for men and Acqua di Gioia for women fragrances will be the vehicles for the Acqua for Life campaign. Every product sold will generate a donation of 100 litres of drinking water to children in need.
Every Acqua di GiÃ² and Acqua di Gioia sold will generate a donation of 100 litres of drinking water to children in need
“I am always very aware of problems connected to the environment and in particular to water, an element I love very much, since it is regenerative, precious and essential to life,” noted the designer.
Last year, the Acqua for Life campaign raised 43.3 million litres of safe drinking water for the Green Cross programme in Ghana, 45% of which was generated by the global travel retail channel.
The 2012 Acqua for Life programme, which begins this month and will run until June, aims to collect a further 40 million litres of water. This year the initiative will support both the Smart Water for Green Schools project in Ghana (extending to new communities in the Volta region), and the Green Cross Bolivia project, to help communities in one of the driest regions of Charagua.
For the third year running. the Armani Group is also supporting UNICEF’s Tap Project in the US, which funds water projects in poor countries.
Two limited editions, presented in special “aquatic” packaging, will be available exclusively through Gebr Heinemann
“The projects will change the lives of the communities by helping them access underground water and equipping schools with storage tanks,” noted Green Cross Bolivia Vice President Faride Tirado.
Once again, travel retail worldwide has been earmarked to play a major role in the project, by aiming to raise over seven million litres of water from the sale of the fragrances within the channel.
In Europe, Armani has chosen Gebr Heinemann as its key partner. Two limited editions of Acqua di GiÃ² and Acqua di Gioia, presented in special “aquatic” packaging, will be available exclusively through Heinemann travel retail doors. The retailer will ensure strong visibility in-store (at Frankfurt, DÃ¼sseldorf, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest and Oslo), and online via its website. It aims to generate 3.5 million litres of drinking water.
In 2011 Acqua for Life generated 43.3 million litres of safe drinking water for the Green Cross programme in Ghana
“The Gebr Heinemann group was involved in Acqua for Life [last year],” explained Stefan Dembinski, Division Manager Giorgio Armani & Designer Fragrances for Travel Retail Europe, Middle East & Africa. “Giorgio Armani has chosen the Heinemann group to be a privileged travel retail partner to give this second edition a new dimension. This partnership facilitates outstanding visibility of Acqua for Life, both in the shops and online. We are proud of this collaboration and we truly hope to raise the maximum amount of drinking water.”
“Giorgio Armani has chosen the Gebr Heinemann group to be a privileged travel retail partner to give this second edition a new dimension. This partnership facilitates outstanding visibility of Acqua for Life, both in the shops and online.”
Stefan Dembinski, Division Manager Giorgio Armani & Designer Fragrances for Travel Retail Europe, Middle East & Africa
Dembinski continued: “Aside from his interest in water from an aesthetic and artistic point of view, Giorgio Armani has always been deeply concerned by environmental issues involving water. He decided to initiate the Acqua for Life partnership after meeting representatives of Green Cross International.
“This charity campaign is important for the brand image, as it demonstrates Mr Armani’s long-term interest in water issues on a global scale. It is also important for business, as it creates differentiation and drives attention to our pillar franchises Acqua di GiÃ² and Acqua di Gioia.”
The Acqua for Life initiative incorporates a significant digital platform. This includes an “online challenge”, whereby consumers are invited to support and collect extra litres of water on social networks. In 2011, over three million litres of drinking water were “collected” via the Internet.
Furthermore, the website www.acquaforlifechallenge.org explains the campaign, tracks the results and allows consumers to learn more about the actions undertaken by Green Cross International to address drinking water issues around the world.
In 2012, Facebook (www.facebook.com/acquaforlife) constitutes a key digital component. By becoming a fan of the Acqua For Life Facebook page, consumers will automatically generate 50 litres of safe drinking water for communities in Ghana and Bolivia.
By “liking” the page, fans are automatically entered in the Water Race, a fun experience which aims to explain the water crisis in an illustrated way. Participants become part of a group racing from Milan to Ghana and Bolivia, on a “virtual” voyage to bring water to communities.
By becoming a fan of the Acqua For Life Facebook page, consumers will generate 50 litres of safe drinking water
Consumers can personalise their avatar, share their position via Google map on their Facebook wall, learn about the places they are virtually visiting, and discover via Street View where they stand. Most importantly, the more people who like the page, the bigger the group gets, and the water donation increases.
A core idea of the challenge is to create a community of people who will learn about the water crisis through the Facebook page, and will spread awareness of the problem. This educational side of the project will be supported through regular wall posts, delivered by Giorgio Armani all year long, as a forum to discuss the problem of safe drinking water shortages, and how to help.
The water crisis in Bolivia
The extension of the Armani partnership in Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, and where 33% of the rural population had no secured access to a safe drinking water source in 2010, will focus on supporting small and isolated communities living in the Cordillera province of Santa Cruz.
The online Water Race aims to raise awareness of the world’s water crisis in a simple, illustrated way
The region endures a dry period ranging from six to eight months every year. Women from the area usually collect water from public reservoirs. But in the communities targeted by the 2012 Acqua for Life challenge, there are no such reservoirs within a minimum of 50 km. Families have no access to public water supplies and rely on drinking water unfit for human consumption. Childhood diarrhoea is the main cause of death, especially in rural areas.
The targeted objectives of the 2012 challenge include building a rainwater harvesting system in each school; drilling a borehole in each community that will pump water from the Parapeti River basin; providing health and hygiene education to the beneficiary families; and training on how to operate and maintain the water systems and manual pumping wells.
In addition to the Smart Water for Green Schools initiative in Ghana, in 2012 Acqua for Life will support the Green Cross Bolivia project. The focus will be on small and isolated communities living in the Cordillera province of Santa Cruz
Bolivia has played a key role in the push for access to water globally. It made the first call for water to be regarded as a human right, which succeeded in 2010 when the UN recognised the human right to water and sanitation.
Been there, done that? Then buy the T-shirt
Last June, Giorgio Armani received dozens of drawings from the Ghanaian children, whose communities were helped by Acqua for Life. Their own version of a “thank you” note, the drawings depicted scenes from their daily lives, such as women fetching water from newly built boreholes, or school scenes.
As a tribute to their communities, Armani decided to use those drawings on a T-shirt, mixing them into a design of his own. From this month, these T-shirts will retail at €60 in selected Emporio Armani stores. 30% from the sale of each T-shirt will be given to Green Cross International to benefit its Smart Water for Green Schools programme.
Green Cross International (GCI) is a leading independent, non-profit and non-governmental organisation created in 1993 by Mikhail Gorbachev to respond to the combined challenges of security, poverty and environmental degradation to ensure a sustainable and secure future.
Water covers 75% of the planet, but only 3% represents fresh water and less than 1% (0.7%) is actually accessible to meet all our needs. Each day 4,000 children die worldwide from preventable water-related diseases, mostly diarrhoea. Almost 900 million people have no access to safe drinking water.
GCI’s projects include tested, sustainable solutions of constructing basic catchment systems on roofs of school buildings and diverting rainwater into overhead 20,000 litre-capacity water storage tanks, which school children and community members can monitor, treat and use.