Update: partnership closed as of September 2021.
To echo our own words here, by producing swimwear and shipping it all over the world, we are directly contributing to climate change through two of the biggest polluting industries in the world: fashion and transportation.
We are vocal about our sustainability efforts and have a growing list of ways in which we work consciously to lower the impact we have on the environment. But climate change is where we become stuck. Is it possible to continue making a livelihood this way and feel good about it? To maintain the brilliant relationships and quality swimwear we've worked so hard to create with our supplier in China? We like to hope so! It's important that we remain mindful, it means we cannot choose to ignore the impacts and the hidden environmental costs of importing and shipping globally. So now more than ever we remain solution-driven and believe a smart, focused approach to complex multi-level issues, such as these, is often the most effective.
A couple of months back, we partnered with Mossy Earth and became a custom member of its reforestation and rewilding projects to tackle and offset the carbon we are currently unable to reduce. Reforestation is scientifically-backed and proven to be one of the most effective strategies for climate change mitigation. Trees capture carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store it in their trunk, branches and roots. Restoring and protecting native forests not only helps fight climate change, it also creates a safe haven for wildlife and encourages biodiversity through healthy, balanced eco-systems.
The Reforestation Process
Mossy Earth start by working closely with a team of biologists and forest engineers to determine the most ideal tree species for each individual project. Seeds and saplings are then selected from local DNA pools to ensure they adapt well and thrive in the most suitable environments. When the saplings are between 1-3 years old, they are planted in large batches at the best time of year. Depending on the risk of the project, 30-200% extra trees are planted to cover any initial loses.
Every tree planted is recorded on an open database with a photograph and GPS coordinate. We can search each one of our trees on the database and the GPS accuracy allows us to get within 10 metres using a phone.
By only planting in protected areas, with ongoing forest management in place and the commitment of re-planting any trees lost 3-10 years after the original planting date, there is a good chance that each tree planting project develops into a mature wild forest creating much-needed habitat and locking in carbon.
The Carpathian Mountains, Romania
Our first 12 trees are planted in the Southern Carpathians. This area was logged in 2007 leaving barren land with the odd standing dead tree. Mossy Earth's partners, FCC, purchased over 20,000 hectares of forest to protect and restore them from illegal logging. Since 2018, Mossy Earth have planted 24,000 trees across 240 hectares - a mixture of spruce, mountain elm, alpine maple and beech.
The Carpathian Mountains are especially important as they represent the largest area of unfragmented virgin forests in Europe. They are home to an extraordinary range of biodiversity and have the largest population of large carnivores in Europe including Wolves, Bear and Lynx. The team set up some remote camera traps in the forest and caught a glimpse into the lives of some of Europes most illusive wildlife. Watch the incredible footage here.
To work with nature in this way is a slow, long-term solution that requires a great deal of patience, hope and trust. As far as carbon offsetting companies go, Mossy Earth has a level of transparency that is inspiring. Learn more about how Mossy Earth are doing things differently.
Next Project: Reforesting Scotland
Images: c/o Mossy Earth