As part of the AFEW STORE Eco Mission, we wanted to raise awareness about the more sustainable use of bags while shopping. Our AFEW STORE “Intergalactic” Bag, introduced in July 2020 and created in collaboration with Japanese artist Takumi Ogata, is still available in the store. The focus is not only on the more sustainable use of the bags but also on production and therefore more sustainable products. The bag is made from organic cotton and is GOTS certified. In return for voluntarily giving up the bag, we have 10 new trees planted in Malawi. So bagless shopping is not for nothing. The customer brings his bag with him on his next visit or does the shopping completely without a bag. In this way, resources such as water, energy, and cotton can be completely saved.
Our goal in 2020 was to plant about 15,000 new trees during the rainy season in November. This corresponds to a field the size of six hectares, which was to be planted with trees indigenous to Malawi. And this goal was achieved. Between November 2020 and January 2021 over 15,000 trees were planted. The planted trees from last year have been done well. Even though it is currently the dry season, the area still looks good. Especially the areas that directly border the forest stand out. This shows that the moisture is better conserved in the soil there. Which leads to the conclusion, that the young trees have connected to the already existing ecosystem. This integration gives hope that in the coming rainy season the existing tree population will make a further push and that the reforestation has succeeded.
Of course, we could not do the whole thing on our own. Instead, we teamed up with the Ntchisi Forest Lodge, the coffee manufactory Rösterei-Vier and Kumanga, as well as the local Mpamila Football Club, who planted the trees for us.
After the success of the “No Bag for Trees” campaign, we have not stopped collecting. As part of our cooperation, we will plant another 15,000 trees this year at the beginning of the rainy season, starting in November/December.
The rainy season has begun. The new holes have already been dug and the first indigenous trees planted.