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Woolworths CEO on Pharrell Williams colab

Pharrell said Woolworths was a global blueprint for how good businesses should do good business.

FILE: Pharrell Williams. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The strategic collaboration between Woolworths SA and Grammy award-winning artist Pharrell Williams is a first for a South African retailer, which will see the global superstar and the business align their values and actions to make a difference in the lives of people and the planet.

Williams on Friday said that Woolworths was a global blueprint for how good businesses should do business and that his collaboration with the retailer was aimed at uplifting education in South Africa, food farming that goes easy on the planet and hoped it would create fashion that was not just cool, but also sustainable.

Ian Moir, CEO of Woolworths SA, said that the social media response to the collaboration has been unbelievable so far and that they are very excited.

Moir said the collaboration would not have happened if Woolworths' values as a company hadn't aligned with his.

"We just resonated with the guy and he wanted to work with us."

Moir described the need to talk to the youth of South Africa and said the company figured that the youth wouldn't "want to listen to old guys in suits" and would rather hear from someone like Pharrell.

He said that the collaboration was beyond brand growth and attracting new customers.

"This is genuinely about doing the right thing, about bringing to people's attention issues that should be brought to their attention."

BDS SOUTH AFRICA RESPONDS TO THE COLAB

Human rights and Palestine solidarity organisation, BDS South Africa, was meanwhile adamant that Pharrell should stop his partnership with Woolworths until the retailer stopped importing products from Israel.

The organisation also called on people in the entertainment industry to take a stand.

BDS spokesperson Kwara Kekana says, "It is very necessary that people in the entertainment industry in particular start to discuss the issue of human rights. There are a lot of celebrities coming out on the issue of Palestine, lending their own voices to this cause as well."

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