Forests cover 31% of our planet’s surface area. They produce oxygen and shelter for communities and wildlife. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, humans are responsible for destroying 7.4 million hectares of forests annually, equivalent to the size of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg altogether.
Since the beginning, at SAYE we have strived to fight against deforestation by collaborating with the NGO WeForest, and ensuring that every time a pair of sneakers was purchased, two trees were planted.
Farmers in undeveloped countries often cause deforestation as trees are generally the only means of livelihood for them to cook or earn an extra income through charcoal production. In Zambia, our partner WeForest helps the Miombo community become part of the solution engaging with over 800 small-scale farmer families to make them stewards of their forests.
They receive forestry training, fuel-efficient stoves, and subsidies for planting grafted fruit trees, and women are becoming entrepreneurs as they are trained and equipped to run home-based tree nurseries. Furthermore, they can apply for specific permaculture or plant nursery training to diversify their skills and farm livelihoods.
Meghalaya state, in Northeast India, is called ‘the wettest place on earth’. Here, in the Khasi Hills, our partner WeForest collaborates with a federation of 11 indigenous governments and 75 Khasi villages to restore several areas of the forest. These forest-dependent communities have set up nurseries to provide the seedlings and formed groups of community volunteers who are planting the seedlings and tending the forests.
Since we started SAYE we have been planting two trees for each pair of sneakers sold, helping to plant 30,326 trees in India. The project tackles the drivers of deforestation directly, including charcoal production, grazing and forest fires. Through self-help groups and farmers clubs, villagers are empowered in sustainable entrepreneurship and economic development.
The August and September 2019 funds designated to tree planting activities are donated to the NGO “SAVING THE AMAZON” in Amazon.
The December 2019 and January 2020 funds designated to tree planting activities are donated to the NGO “ONE TREE PLANTED” in Australia.