For every single object (!) we sell, one tree will be planted. We are doing this since the very start of our label (October 2017) as it’s the responsibility of a company to not only make profit but also to do good in this world. We want to do good by producing all our products from scratch in Belgium with the help of social workplace Mivas and by planting lots of trees. Trees not only are good for the climate, they even can save lives. We already planted 15.000 trees thanks to this project! Trees we funded are planted in Ghana, Ethiopia and across the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Read more about these tree locations below!
The very first trees we funded were planted in Ghana. We chose Africa because trees grow faster in warmer environments capturing more greenhouse gases (up to 4 times more!), because trees have a MUCH larger economic impact on the local community and because the change in vegetation due to new planted trees is just spectacular. Since the early 1990s, Ghana has lost more than 30% of its forests so we chose to restore some forest here together with the American nonprofit organisation OneTreePlanted. They let you plant 1 tree with $1, so with $500 we planted 500 trees (click on the image) to restore degraded land (1% of a local action to plant 50000 trees). The result is new strong and healthy vegetation which allows for new sustainable economic development for the local community, protection from flooding and a positive impact on the micro and macro climate overall!
For the second round of tree funding, we wanted to work together with the Belgian non profit organisation Bos + to make it more relatable to people here in Belgium. They also have projects in Africa (were planting trees has the most impact) so that was a great fit. One project they did was in the northern part of Ethiopia which does not have a lot of rich vegetation left. As a result, the dessert presses south and there is a growing shortage of food and water. With Bos+, you also plant one tree for €1 so with €4500 we planted 4500 trees (click on the image) in the summer of 2018 to restore 18ha of vegetation. Thas was 11,25% of a project with 40000 trees for a total of 200ha. The result: new economic activities (honey, sustainable tree harvesting), erosion control, more water containment and tempering of the climate. And of course an enormous positive social impact for the local population! Read more info about this project hier.
Working with OneTreePlanted and Bos+ was amazing but ultimately, we found the perfect tree partner “Trees For The Future”. It’s again an American non profit organisation but they let you plant 1 tree for $0,1 instead of $1 and they are planting trees by a unique approach which adds for more much value. The trees they plant will be part of regenerative agriculture (= permaculture) Forest Garden projects. The trees will allow farmers to increase their income ten times by making the dessert fertile again. This leads to more education for children and a positive impact on women empowerment. By donating $1000, we already funded for the planting of 10.000 trees (click on the image) with this amazing non-profit organization! They will be planted across 6 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa: Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, Guinea and Tanzania (read more).
Only drawback is that it’s not possible to know exactly where your trees will be planted if you’re not donating directly for a specific project but just donating money for them to use where they need it the most that moment. So you’d say: ‘ok, just donate for a specific project then?’ And that’s correct but that’s only possible when you pledge to donate at least $10.000 per year (read more) and we don’t sell 100.000 products per year. ? BUT we found a solution for this problem by working together with a Belgian vzw ‘Promobutler foundation’. Read more about it hier.
On June 27, we launched our ‘5 million trees’ donation campaign and it ran until August 31. The goal was to plant 5.000.000 trees in 2 weeks time by raising €500.000 and donating it to Trees for the Future. Of course, this number was ‘a little bit’ optimistic but focussing on a very high number just brings more attention to the campaign (and thus more trees will be planted). Ánd it did not really matter whether we would actually reach the goal as planting 1 tree is still better than no trees. So, we just went for it and after extending the campaign from 2 weeks to 2 months, we raised a beautiful € 10886,59 which is good for 108865 trees. Click on the image to see our bank statement. Taking into account that we’re a for profit company doing the fundraising (people don’t easily trust companies and we can’t blame them) and that we were very little and unknown at the time of the campaign, that’s not so bad, right?! ??
WHERE? These 108865 trees will be planted in Kaffrine, Senegal. It’s a project of Trees for the Future for planting 2 million trees. The first trees in this project were planted in August 2018, the final trees will be planted in March 2022. The total project will take up around 8 million tons of C02 in the first 100 year and will provide an enormous amount of African families with more fertile soil, better food, better income, education and lots more. Check hier also their latest impact report.
HOW? As explained above (Tree location: Africa), the drawback of donating to Trees for the Future is that you don’t know exactly where your trees will be planted except when you are going to fund for a whole project, i.e. donating at least $10.000 per year (read more) for 4 years and we can’t pay that at this moment unfortunately. BUT, during our 5 million tree campaign, we met the founder of Promobutler Foundation. This is a Belgian vzw that encourages other companies to adopt sustainability into their business model and to donate money to plant trees. All the funds they raise will also go to Trees for the Future. So, Promobutler Foundation acts as an intermediary between us and Trees for the Future which causes more paperwork and 5% extra administrative costs BUT the big advantage here is that they gather much bigger sums of money so that they can donate to a whole project ánd thus are able to track everything extremely well. And we prefer full transparency above everything else. Sso that’s why we are working directly with Promobutler Foundation and indirectly with Trees for the Future for this project. Read more about our partnership with Promobutler Foundation hier.
On October 8 2019, we celebrated our 2 year anniversary on social media (Instagram & Facebook) by donating for some more trees! We did a post where we paid for the planting of one tree for every person that commented ‘#weneedmoretrees’. In total, we received 85 comments so 85 trees will be planted! We will plant the trees again together with Promobutler Foundation and Trees for the Future at $0,1 a tree (= € 8,5). We pay for our trees biannually or quarterly (whatever is the most convenient at the time) so we will post the evidence as soon as we paid for it. Already looking forward to our next project!