One Tree at a Time

One Tree at a Time is an eco collective operating across the French Alps, set up to encourage independent ski resort businesses to make small adjustments to the way they operate, in order to reduce their environmental impact. After realising that we could bring about big changes at our own store, The Boot Lab, we wanted to encourage others to follow our lead. Through consultancy and the fostering of ideas and information we are creating a larger movement, as we truly believe that small, grass root movements like ours can bring about the change we need, and it’s time to act.

The ski industry produces huge amounts of carbon dioxide and tons of waste, and yet we rely completely on the environment we’re actively destroying. By coming together as a community and adapting our businesses, we can try to negate the detrimental effects of our industry in order to protect the environment we all love.

What are we doing?

The Alps is teeming with small innovative businesses, and we’re working with these to encourage them to consider their impact on the environment. It’s a huge task, but by breaking down the way each business operates into small chunks and working as a collective it feels like something we can truly affect. To explore the businesses taking part in this initiative check out the collective.

On top of this we’re fighting back by fundraising for ‘One Tree at a Time’. By offsetting our impact through the planting of trees, we can take the time to develop solutions to adapt businesses where the technology or means may not be available.

The “Fix it” tour

The “Fix It, F*@k Brexit Tour” took the Alps by storm. We repaired kit, set up “bring and buy rails” and kept ski gear out of landfill. Through our “Fix It, Don’t Ditch It” workshop we repaired hundreds of items destined for landfill and as a result fundraised enough money to plant over 4000 trees.

How can you help?

You can support us by using the businesses that are changing. It is difficult for big business to adapt but small businesses are nimble and can make transformations quickly.

For example at The Boot Lab we struggle to see the logic in delivering plastic products in plastic wrapping, so we have pressurised our suppliers to deliver their products to us in boxes with no plastic packaging, removing 4,300 plastic bags from our supply line over the last three years. All of our Fork Tree products are sustainably produced and we are developing plastic free custom footbeds; so by supporting the businesses involved in this eco collective you’re supporting change.

Help Us Plant Trees

You can donate or buy clothing from our “One Tree at a Time” store. Each time you buy a tee we’re planting a tree. Each tree has the capability to lock away a ton of C02 over its lifetime. Clothing is a huge drain on the environment, but to counter this we use Teemill to create all our products. They use organic cotton, a zero-waste policy, a wind-powered factory and have instigated a circular economy. This means that when you’re finished with your clothing it can be returned for re-manufacturing into new tees. We think that is awesome!

What happens with my donation?

We have a small, passionate team of individuals giving up their time on a voluntary basis to run the collective. That means that every Euro you donate goes towards the cause.

We’ve been fundraising through our “Fix It” events in Courchevel, Meribel and Morzine. By keeping ski gear out of landfill through our repair station and running “Bring and Buy” rails of donated clothing, we’ve been able to raise funds that have been used to plant trees.

We’ve started off in two locations, the first here in the French Rhône-Alpes through our company portal at MyTree, and the second through Trees for the future, an organisation that plants trees for families in Africa. This gives communities the ability to transition from unsustainable farming techniques to a Forest Garden system, where tree planting not only sustains and empowers, but also changes lives forever.

How can I get involved?

Whether you’re an individual or a small business we’d love to hear from you. Any idea, no matter how small might lead to a far bigger change. So please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

A massive thanks to all those that have supported us on the journey, with all your passion the future looks a whole lot brighter.

Gavin Fernie-Jones