Oboz Footwear knows that gifts are not just for the holidays, so they make the gift of trees everyday.
For every pair of shoes the Bozeman, Montana-based outdoor shoe company sells, they plant one more tree through their partnership with Trees for the Future, which supports communities in need in East and West Africa with trees, seeds and the tools and know-how to ensure a sustainable future. The trees provide families and villages with an important source of income in the form of timber, fruit, and other products. These trees also reduce erosion, enrich the soil, provide shade, and provide shelter and breaks from wind. Trees for the Future’s motto—“Plant Trees. Change Lives.”—captures their passionate belief in the restorative power of trees. The charity has planted over 100 million trees since it was founded 1989. Tree planting is only a small part of their unique mission. The group also trains farmers about ‘forest garden’ practices that combine the benefits of trees with the productivity of agriculture, so that communities can use their gift of trees wisely for years to come.
“Trees for the Future might be the coolest charity you may not have heard of,” said Josh Fairchilds of Oboz. “Their on-the-ground work directly improves livelihoods so every tree is like a gift.” All told, Oboz’ donations have enabled Trees for the Future to plant more than 500,000 trees. To put that number into perspective, Trees for the Future says that just 3,000 to 5,000 trees, planted in a dense forest garden, can give a large, impoverished family in the developing world just about everything they need to thrive.
“Planting trees on degraded lands changes people’s lives in profound ways,” said John Leary, Executive Director of Trees for the Future. “And bringing degraded lands back into sustainable productivity requires a strong commitment. We, and the thousands of families and communities we serve, are grateful for Oboz’s continuous dedication to our tree planting projects over the years.”
Oboz couldn’t plant a single tree without the support of its retail partners. Every year, Oboz applauds their efforts with a progress report on how many trees, they, too, helped ‘plant’ for Trees for the Future. Additionally, retailers such as Footsloggers, Mast General Store and Nantahala Outdoor Center team up with Oboz to create ‘One More Tree’ events at stores to help spread awareness of Oboz’ tree-planting mission. Real trees are part of the fun at those events; anyone who tries on a pair of Oboz takes home a seedling to plant at home or in their neighborhood.
Who knew that one more tree—let alone thousands and thousands—can give so much, every day, for years to come?