Ugly Sweater, Beautiful Impact: The Sweater That Plants Trees
Meaghan Weeden | December 22, 2022 | 6 min read
Making an Impact and Looking Good While Doing It
The holiday season can be a challenging time to navigate your environmental impact and keep things sustainable while also taking full advantage of all that the season has to offer. To help bridge that gap, we invited all of you to get ugly for a great cause (ugly sweaters, that is) — and you did not disappoint!
Together, you planted 29,200 fruit trees in India, making a tangible, lasting impact for the communities that are most in need of environmental restoration. These trees will improve air quality, grow fruit for improved nutrition and economic stability, and provide essential wildlife habitat in a mega diverse region. We think that's a pretty special way to celebrate the holiday season!
All around the world, from nature hikes to holiday parties and present-wrapping sessions, these sweaters have kept our reforestation heroes both cozy and stylish. After all, what better way to dress for the holidays than with a classic ugly sweater — minus the ugly environmental impact from fast fashion?
The Project You Supported: India Fruit Trees
This campaign was about more than fun and games, though!
Our amazing partners are working with local communities across twelve Indian states to plant fruit trees to fight hunger, improve local economies, and combat climate change. The 29,200 trees planted by these Ugly Sweaters will change lives.
When intercropped with seasonal vegetables, a grove of 100 fruit trees provides nutritional meals and sustainable income to a family of 4, helping to reduce migration into urban areas. Special emphasis is given to employing people from marginalized groups like widowed and elderly women. Each fruit tree we plant will equate to at least $10 USD in food and nutrition each year, with a cumulative value of 5 million dollars garnered over the next 50-60 years.
While the socioeconomic benefits of this effort are undeniable, there are important health benefits, too. India has some of the worst air quality in the world which is a massive drain on human health. Cue trees, which filter the air, trap pollutants, and provide thousands of pounds of breathable oxygen over their lifetimes.
The trees planted will also grow food and shelter for insects, bees, small animals, and birds. Biodiversity will also benefit from improved watershed health thanks to improved water absorption (and therefore, reduced runoff) during rain events. This will help keep area rivers clean by stabilizing soils, filtering stormwater, and more!