We are SO excited to introduce our second full-time charitable partnership, which means we will be donating to SettleUp Earth and When You Wish Upon A Star with every order placed. We have teamed up with the incredible carbon offsetting company - SettleUp Earth - to fund one tree to be planted every time our amazing customers place an order. Asides from tree planting, this partnership also contributes to equitable, fair trade, safe and gender-equal employment in lower-income countries.
In this blog, we answer questions about how planting trees can help offset carbon emissions and outline the other socio-economic benefits of the projects we contribute to.
About The Project
The effect of the fashion industry on both the environment and people has always shocked us. One of the most polluting industries in the world - the fashion industry creates an obscene amount of waste, uses an incredible amount of water, toxic chemicals and dyes, which are then leaked into local water supplies, and lends poor and often unsafe working conditions and unfair pay for workers overseas.
I (the director of Constellations) have always wanted to start my own business. Working in fashion as part of the buying team, and being passionate and informed about creativity and design from an early age, made sense to build a business based around fashion design. Having a particular interest in sustainability from my experiences both as a flight attendant and travelling the world, seeing the waste produced by both aviation and in some countries, the inner turmoil of creating something new and adding to this problem was huge. I knew that my business would have to value sustainability as a core value and be a climate positive workforce.
The best way to address the climate crisis is to reduce the underlying emissions that cause it. Our business operates 100% single-use plastic-free. We create products designed to be timeless, higher quality and less throwaway jewellery. We also aim to move to 100% recycled metals by 2025. Any carbon emissions we do still have in our business, we aim to offset through verified carbon-reducing projects.
From the 1st of March 2021, we began funding the planting of trees. In addition to our other sustainability efforts that you can read more about here, we now plant one tree for every order placed. The project we contribute to with each order mainly focuses on a project planting Mangrove trees in Mozambique.
Why Plant Trees?
So what are the benefits of tree planting? Let’s start with some simple facts: trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere and release oxygen, helping to combat both pollution and climate change. A typical tree will sequester approximately 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old. Planting one tree with every order means our action against climate change will grow with us, meaning that as our business scales so does our positive climate contribution. The older the tree is, the more carbon it can sequester.
Trees and forests protect animals, providing habitats and food sources. They increase rainfall, purify water and improve crop yield. Reforestation projects provide farms with work to support the local economy and give someone an income and a skill to feed their family.
Why Mangrove Trees?
Mangrove trees are vital to removing carbon from the atmosphere - they are among the most carbon-rich ecosystems in the world. In addition, when undisturbed, mangrove forest soils also act as long-term carbon sinks.
Each mangrove tree planted by our projects removes over 308kg (680lbs) of CO 2 from the atmosphere over the growth life of the tree. This calculates to an average of 12.3kg per year per tree.
Between 2000 and 2015, an estimated 122 million tons of carbon was released into the atmosphere due to mangrove deforestation. Another source estimates that mangrove deforestation generates emissions of around 10% of emissions from deforestation globally, despite accounting for just 0.7% of tropical forest area. These important ecosystems are being lost at an alarming rate.
Mangroves are valuable in maintaining healthy oceans, which in turn are the Earths largest carbon sinks. They support numerous ecosystems, including fisheries production and nutrient cycling. Marine life is dependent on mangroves - a critical natural habitat and nursery for juvenile fish. Three-quarters of all tropical fish species are born within mangrove forests, whose branches provide shelter and protection for the juvenile fish and some sharks. Mangroves also provide protection from coastal erosion, flooding, and against the impact of natural disaster.
We want to have as much of an environmental impact as possible with our tree planting. This is why we primarily invest in Mangrove reforestation through our partner charity.
Why SettleUp Earth?
SettleUp Earth contributes towards verified and certified tree planting projects. Through carefully selected projects, they ensure that although the main trees planted are mangroves due to their incredible CO2 absorption abilities amongst other benefits, there are no monocultures. This encourages biodiversity and a range of wildlife habitats.
Their work also meets 10 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, helping to sustain people and the planet.
The UN SDG’s are 17 goals for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, adopted by all United Nations Members in 2015. They are essentially an urgent call for action to end poverty and other deprivations.
Namely, the projects we contribute towards help support poverty alleviation by providing secure employment to workers in low-income countries. They provide gender equality, fairly paid and safe sustainable employment for workers. They support life on land and seas and help take climate action.
We are so excited about this new project and way to give back. If you have any comments or feedback on our sustainability efforts, we love to hear how we can continue to improve as we grow!