It’s easy to lose touch with our place in the wider world. Between quick cups of coffee, hastily gobbled sandwiches and daily family dramas, our world can shrink. It can shrink to the four walls of our house, down the road or to the other side of town. And it takes a concerted effort to open the world up again–by reading, travelling, learning. All the good stuff.
Unless you live in or near one, the forest is just another place. Somewhere in another country or another part of the country. Our connection to it isn’t daily, so it loses vital importance to most of us.
• After oceans, forests are the globe’s biggest storers of carbon. Tropical forests store a quarter of a trillion tonnes of carbon alone
• Forests are home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, and 300 million people, including 60 million indigenous peoples
• And the number of people relying on forests for livelihoods stands at 2 billion. From fruits, paper, wood, fuel and drinking water to the less obvious things like medicines, cosmetics and detergents
So when it came to promoting one of our bestselling leather colours—handily called Rainforest Green—we thought long and hard about how our marketing could also be as impactful as possible. And we decided on a tree-planting initiative. A really simple one: for every single product we sell, we plant a tree.
This is why we chose to partner up with them:
• They’re broad: lots of projects across different continents, a vast selection of native species and different types of forests
• They’re thorough: their reforestation engineers focus on high-impact biodiversity, rejecting problematic monocropping. And where relevant, they strive to support indigenous forest-reliant communities
• Their impact is measurable, which means our impact is measurable. We can track the number of trees/species/hectares planted in our ‘BEEN London forest’ and can see how much carbon has been captured
Camino Verde plant over 400 tree species, and we started with Bobinsana (Calliandra angustifolia). Used as a ‘pioneer species’ on highly degraded sites, this quick growing tree fixes nitrogen, and forms dense, woody trunks extremely quickly. It’s suitable as coppicing for firewood and charcoal production, and its bark is used for medicine. It has an open branch structure making it the perfect support plant for vanilla and passionfruit vines.
It’s not going to change the world on its own. But if we all continue to take positive steps with everything we touch, the future certainly looks brighter.