TreeSisters

Fri 7th May 2021 14:10

Sustainability

We are thrilled to announce that we have officially partnered with TreeSisters! For Ben, the founder of Giant Deckchairs, it has always been a dream to support our wonderful planet by planting trees, but finding the right charity to help achieve this has taken time. Out of the numerous organisations we looked at, there was always something that didn’t quite seem right or fully align with our values, so finding TreeSisters was seeing the wood for the trees (sorry)! 

You may remember last year we shared our initial pledge to plant a tree for every Deckchair we’ve sold, that's over 2,500 to date, but finding a suitable partnership to do this proved a challenge. After lots more research and discussion, we found TreeSisters who are based in Bristol, UK and are a social change and reforestation charity that places tropical forest restoration into everyone’s hands. Through individuals and businesses that give back to nature every month, TreeSisters has so far funded the planting of over 15 million trees across 12 locations in Brazil, Borneo, Cameroon, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar, Nepal and West Papua.

We have lots of fabulous reforestation projects here in the UK, so why are we looking to support projects so far away from our home in Devon? Well, we all know rainforests are the ‘lungs of the planet’, with the Amazon rainforest alone absorbing 2 billion tons of CO2 per year (or 5% of annual emissions), so maintaining these incredibly diverse ecosystems seems a great place to start. Our donations will also have a bigger impact because it is more cost effective to support projects where TreeSisters operate. Since CO2 doesn’t recognise borders, we will still benefit here in the UK from trees being planted abroad.

TreeSisters isn’t just about planting trees, their movement also focuses on education, empowering women and behavioural change. 

We have signed up to the ‘Company Forest Program’ and will be donating a percentage of our turnover (that’s the income we receive for selling our products, regardless whether we make a profit or not) each year from Giant Deckchairs and Heck Yes! Designs to the scheme. From 1st January to 31st March 2021 we have paid for 1107 trees to be planted! We will also be backdating our funding to cover the previous pledge we made. 

Another great reason we love TreeSisters is how their funding is spent:

  • 80% of donations funds forest, ecosystem and biodiversity restoration through a diverse portfolio of vetted and trusted reforestation projects across the global tropical belt
  • 15% of donations funds programs and campaigning in Nature education, women’s empowerment and behaviour change
  • 5% of donations are used to support their running and fundraising costs

We’ll be adding a tree counter to our website so you can keep track of our progress.You’ll also be able to see how many trees we’ll plant for each product you buy as well as being able to purchase more trees yourself during checkout.

If you’ve been following Giant Deckchairs and Heck Yes! Designs for a while, you will know that the environment plays a huge part in how we run our business. Here is a reminder of just a few of the things we do, which help align our vision with that of TreeSisters.

We recycle all our waste. Our timber arrives untreated which means that all of our offcuts can be used to keep us warm in the winter if they are unable to be turned into other products. We separate all our waste to ensure it doesn't end up in landfill.

Replacement chair slings. We have designed our chairs to allow you to swap out the sling once it has reached the end of its life, or you fancy a change and then purchase a replacement one. Recycle your old sling by sending it back to us* and receive 10% off your next order**.

Efficient printing. We only turn our printers on a maximum of twice a week to create longer and more effective print runs which significantly helps to reduce our energy usage. Our electricity supplier provides us with 100% renewable power. 

We source our timber from local, family-owned companies ensuring the wood has the highest of sustainable certificates, PEFC. This ensures that forest-based products reaching the marketplace have been sourced from sustainably managed forests.

Our deckchairs and Heck Yes! Designs products are packaged in 100% recyclable materials. All our deckchairs and slings are packaged in cardboard boxes that are made from at least 75% recycled material, and we don’t buy unnecessary polystyrene filling, plastic air pillows or bubble wrap.  

We opt to ‘Go Green’ with our couriers as standard when we book our deliveries. The ‘Go Green’ environmental protection program aims to reduce and/or avoid emissions of greenhouse gases and local air pollutants. Our couriers aim to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero by the year 2050.

Cycle of Good. Our warehouse is an official drop off point for bicycle inner tubes! We are working with the charity Cycle of Good, who train tailors in Malawi to make quality goods handcrafted from your old bicycle inner tubes. This enables the tailors to earn a decent living and support their families. All the money made from the sale of the items they make is used for childcare and non-profit social enterprise in Malawi. That’s why it’s called the Cycle of Good!

We strive to make Heck Yes! Designs' products primarily from wooden off-cuts from our deckchair making process, the bee hotel and magnetic picture frames are just two examples. Our fabulous slogan prints are printed on the margins of fabric used to print our Giant Deckchair slings (when we aren't printing the smaller sizes for our other range of chairs). Our plywood and MDF products are made from sustainably sourced, FSC approved local suppliers.

We hope that this partnership will inspire others going forward to make conscientious decisions about their impacts on the environment, shopping from responsible manufacturers and supporting small businesses across the UK.

If you’d like to read more about TreeSisters, please visit their website: https://treesisters.org/.