On Tuesday, etnies announced its new Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree project, in which etnies will plant a tree in a rainforest in Costa Rica's Maleku reserve for every pair of Jameson 2 Eco shoes sold. etnies athletes Benji Weatherly, CJ Kanuha, Chris Del Moro and Ryan Sheckler will travel to Costa Rica in mid-March for the first tree planting ceremony.
"One of reasons I love riding for etnies is because of their strong focus on the environment and giving back," says Ryan Sheckler, an etnies skate team rider. "As soon as they told me about the Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree project, I immediately wanted to be a part of it. I'm amped to visit Costa Rica in March. It's going to be a really cool experience to learn first-hand about Costa Rica, the Maleku's history and how this reforestation will help them to keep their traditions alive."
In 2007, etnies' owner and CEO Pierre-Andre Senizergues, an environmentalist and a former pro skateboarder, met with Costa Rican government officials to learn about the country's reforestation plans and their goal of going carbon neutral by 2021. Senizergues set a similar goal for etnies to go carbon neutral by 2020.
To celebrate his company's 25-year anniversary, Senizergues decided to team up with Costa Rica's La Reserva Forest Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the recovery and preservation of indigenous tropical rainforests. Together they hope to plant at least 35,000 trees on the Maleku reserve this year.
Home of the Maleku tribe, the reserve's tree forest has been depleted in recent years due to cattle farming and a rubber-tree war. The tree-planting mission is part of a larger goal to reverse deforestation and curb global warming in Costa Rica. By planting some 35,000 trees, roughly 6,930 tons of carbon dioxide will be absorbed from the Earth's atmosphere throughout the trees' lifetime.
"Being a surfer, Costa Rica is an ideal spot to score awesome waves and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery the country provides," says Brett Simpson, etnies surf team rider. "Now with etnies' Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree, Costa Rica will get back a ton of the trees that have been destroyed while also helping the Maleku regain their way of life."