Planting trees has been part of our mission since day one, when John Connelly founded Oboz Footwear in his adopted hometown of Bozeman, Mont. That was 11 years ago. John wanted to do more than build his dream shoes and boots. He wanted to assemble a talented and ambitious team, and he wanted to engage Oboz customers in a way that made a tangible difference.
This fall, that effort reached a notable milestone: we planted 2 million trees.
Because we found an impactful partner in Trees for the Future, a non-profit organization that builds “forest gardens” in impoverished, developing parts of the world where hunger, poverty, and deforestation are immediate and serious problems. Our One More Tree campaign donates to Trees for the Future every time we sell a pair of Oboz. Each donation counts as a tree planted.
What, exactly, does it mean that we’ve planted so many trees?
In sheer numbers, this is what these trees have done:
- Sequester over 77,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide
- Reforest of 1,200 acres of land
- Increase incomes of farmers by 400% on average
- Help thousands of people become food secure
Put simply, a purchase can improve lives.
This isn’t a sales pitch. We are deeply committed to our mission to identify and offer solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. Trees works with local farmers to improve the “triple bottom line,” ending hunger, poverty, and deforestation.
Most of the trees were planted in grassroots projects in five countries in east and west Africa. In the mountains of Cameroon and Kenya, trees are protecting soils and providing livelihoods for hillside communities in the form of fruits, livestock feed, and natural fertilizers. In the arid lands of Senegal and Tanzania, fruit trees combined with vegetable gardens are enabling impoverished families to end their chronic hunger.
Forest gardens are proven to increase farmers’ income by 400 percent, and success begets success; more farmers are joining the planting program.
“We share Oboz Footwear’s belief in being ‘True to the Trail,’ the ethical compass set on doing what we know to be best for people and our planet,” says John Leary, executive director of Trees for the Future and author of the award-winning book One Shot: Trees as our last chance for survival.
We know the impact buying a pair of Oboz can have on our customers. Good boots and shoes make traveling through the outdoors more enjoyable. They let you go further and explore more. They help keep you healthy and fit.
That your purchase helps improve the lives of others in conditions drastically different from the ones at home is, in our view, wonderful. It’s taken a little more than 10 years to get to 2 million. We’re forging ahead and setting our goals high. Let’s work together to walk a mile in everyone’s shoes.