Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim has launched the textile and lifestyle brand “umoja” and presented it to the public on Thursday, November 29. Under the motto “UNITY IN MOTION – Moving Ahead Together”, the clothing produced in Uganda in East Africa is not only intended to symbolize lifestyle but also a clear attitude. The term umoja comes from the Ugandan national language Swahili and means “unity”.
“Making a difference, achieving something together, showing a common attitude for sustainable development and as a leading German football club giving something for the people and nature of the African continent – this is what the umoja brand stands for,” said TSG Managing Director Dr. Peter Görlich. For several years, TSG Hoffenheim has been involved in various programs on the African continent. As part of its future strategy ‘TSG is Movement’, the club has also been cooperating with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for over a year. “On the one hand, we would like to use the new umoja brand to raise awareness of development issues and on the other to actively present offers for participation in the assumption of social responsibility,” says TSG Managing Director Frank Briel.
Since August this year, the Bundesliga club has been putting in place all its activities under climate neutrality. The club’s CO2 offsets already support several afforestation projects in Uganda. “We are now going to take a significant step further: For Africa to be sustainable, we need to create fair market access on a level playing field,” said Dr. Peter Görlich. “The basic idea of ‘TSG is movement’ is based on combining growth with added value in society,” explained Stefan Wagner, Head of Corporate Development at TSG. “With this strategy, which should always be based on the benefits for society, TSG is sending a clear message in professional football.” With the mass appeal, the network and the infrastructural possibilities of a Bundesliga club, TSG Hoffenheim would like to become an extraordinary example for innovative and sustainable product development.
100 per cent made in Uganda
“For years, TSG Hoffenheim has been committed to sustainability, taking responsibility far beyond football,” says Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. “I am pleased that the close partnership between TSG and the German Ministry for Development is bearing fruit. With the textile brand, which is sustainably produced in Africa, TSG supports fair working environments in Africa and carries social responsibility into the fans’ stands.”
The umoja collection has been produced 100% in Uganda. The cotton has been grown and harvested in the Kasese region in the west of the country and is certified “Cotton made in Africa”. This high-quality seal means that only small farmers participate, who operate exclusively in rain fed agriculture, that means without any artificial irrigation. Child labour and forced labour are prohibited, equal pay for women and men applies, the use of genetically modified seeds is excluded. However, the fairest and safest conditions are not just for growing and harvesting – the entire creative process right up to the finished product, whether it’s a T-shirt, long sleeve shirt or hoodie (in many variations for women, men and children) is provided in Uganda. Fine Spinners, located in the Ugandan capital Kampala, is a partner of TSG Hoffenheim, and is responsible for further processing. The modern, stylish collection is based on the design of traditional, modern refined ethnic patterns.
The numerous positive effects of local umoja production, from climate protection and the conservation of resources to more and more socially fair working conditions, are combined with the transfer of financial resources: Ten percent of the revenues generated in Germany from the umoja collection flow directly back to the people in Uganda, where TSG Hoffenheim implements concrete initiatives in the fields of education and sustainable development.
For more information and the online shop: www.umoja.blue