Our Responsibility: giving back to nature and working to safeguard future generations

At PANGAIA, we believe that building an Earth Positive future also means giving back to the communities around us. Philanthropy has been part of our approach since day 1 – we pledged to plant a mangrove tree for every product sold from the very start of our company.

We have since expanded our philanthropy efforts, developing 2 environmental funds of our own and providing regular donations and support to multiple causes and NGOs. Over the past year, we worked to establish a stronger philanthropy framework for ourselves and decided to build it around two pillars: planet and people.

We support grassroots NGOs working in biodiversity protection and conservation through two funds we launched in partnership with Milkywire—Bee The Change and Tomorrow Tree.

We engage with people-focused initiatives through the lens of supporting next generations, with the aim to reduce inequalities and empower young people around the globe.

We're proud of this:

In 2021, we donated over $670,000 in total to environmental and social causes. We also provided PANGAIA products to frontline workers and vulnerable people, for a retail value of over $1.8m.

Image by Wade Million, Global Forest Generation.

Planet

As a company, we recognize that biodiversity loss and climate change are inextricably linked, and that building an Earth Positive future requires us to address biodiversity decline. One of the ways we do this is through supporting conservation efforts led by scientists, biodiversity experts, and grassroots NGOs around the world. You can read more about other actions we are taking to support the health and prosperity of our natural systems in the Biodiversity section of the Planet chapter,

We engage with conservation initiatives and NGOs through two funds we have created in partnership with Milkywire: Tomorrow Tree and Bee The Change. Milkywire is a digital impact platform aiming to bridge the gap between donors and locally rooted nonprofit organizations. They empower the activists, scientists, and experts behind these organizations, providing them with stability through continuous funding. This supports meaningful change for both the environment and the local communities they work with.

Choosing the right organizations

To create measurable and long-term impact, we work with Milkywire to select and vet beneficiary organizations for our 2 funds. The vetting process includes assessing governance, rights-based work, local community participation, methodologies, and results. All organizations have to meet Milkywire’s eligibility criteria. We assess both the organization and the project for which the organization seeks funding. Milkywire also conducts interviews with the organization during the onboarding. Monitoring, evaluation, and learning is continuous work and all organizations have to send in reports on a regular basis so that we can follow how they spend the funds and the progress of the initiatives. Our aim is to build long-term partnerships with the organizations within our funds and provide them with steady financial support.

Why grassroots?

Our decision to work with grassroots organizations stemmed from an understanding of the intersectionality of these initiatives. Forests are complex ecosystems with multiple benefits for climate, biodiversity, and society. They play a significant role in reducing the risk of natural disasters like floods, droughts, landslides, and other extreme weather events. Forests mitigate climate change globally, contribute to the balance of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and humidity in the air, and protect watersheds. Furthermore, they provide habitats for a variety of species and livelihoods for more than 1.6 billion forest-dependent people all over the world.* * United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, The Global Forest Goals Report 2021.

We believe it is important to not only plant new forests but nurture the existing and degraded forests. By primarily planting native species we ensure that forests keep delivering a wide array of ecosystem services and not bring negative contributions for local water cycles and biodiversity, as well as being well adapted to survive in local conditions. By focusing on locally rooted initiatives where the communities are involved in the development and implementation of the project, we ensure ecological sustainability and that long-term effects are more secure and rights are being met. Indigenous people represent under 5% of the global population, and yet they are managing or holding tenure over 25% of the world’s land surface and supporting about 80% of global biodiversity.* * Gleb Raygorodetsky, ‘Indigenous peoples defend Earth’s biodiversity - but they’re in danger’, National Geographic, 16 November 2018 & Garnett, S.T. et al, A spatial overview of the global importance of Indigenous lands for conservation, Nature Sustainability, July 2018. We recognize that they are the custodians of our biodiverse landscapes and believe the best way for us to support nature protection is by working collaboratively with these communities and supporting their conservation initiatives.

We're proud of this:

The Bee The Change and Tomorrow Tree funds are not part of our offsetting strategy, but rather an additional contribution we make in an effort to build an Earth Positive future.

Learn more about our funds below.

Image by Wade Million, Global Forest Generation.

Tomorrow Tree fund

We launched the Tomorrow Tree fund at the end of 2020 to expand our tree planting efforts into a more holistic approach, with the aim to keep supporting reforestation initiatives but also cover the conservation and protection of forests.

We are also members of the 1t.org community and, as such, have pledged to plant, protect, and restore 1 million trees through the Tomorrow Tree fund.

We’re proud of this:

This year, we funded the planting and protection of 635,225 trees through 11 grassroots NGOs across 15 countries.


Organizations and LocationsNumber of trees planted
Haka (Indonesia)41,750
The Society for Preservation of Muriqui (Brazil)12,384
FroProBim (Haiti)28,742
Arbio Peru (Peru)24,934
Niger Delta Forest Project (Nigeria)27,719
Mangrove Action Project (Mexico, Fiji, Philippines)19,569
ProPurus (Peru)7,420
GFG/ECOAN (The Andes: Peru, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia) 277,778
Ecological Balance (Cameroon)5,229
Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (Bangladesh)40,000
SeaTrees (Kenya, Indonesia, California)150,000

Our Tomorrow Tree fund currently supports the following 11 organizations:

This year, we funded the planting and protection of 635,225 trees* * This is including the funds left from 2020 (124,821 trees) and excluding the funds left for 2022 (81,574 trees). through 11 grassroots NGOs across 15 countries.

SeaTrees (Kenya, Indonesia, California)


PANGAIA's very first tree-planting partner, SeaTrees funds initiatives that support local communities working to restore coastal ecosystems across mangroves, kelp and coral.

Note: While SeaTrees is a beneficiary of the Tomorrow Tree Fund, it is not part of the Milkywire platform and network.

2021 highlight: 150,000 mangroves planted in Mida Creek, Kenya - see more details in the case study below!

Global Forest Generation (Peru, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia)


Global Forest Generation’s Acción Andina regional initiative protects and restores one million hectares of high-Andean native forests – replicating and scaling up a successful community-based reforestation model that has resulted in the planting of over 3 million native trees.

2021 highlights: Built and maintained plant nurseries, trained on-the-ground restoration leaders and nursery workers.

HAkA - Forest, Nature, and Environment of Aceh(Indonesia)


HAkA founder Farwiza Farhan is an award-winning Forest Conservationist, taking on the fight against illegal palm oil plantations and the unsustainable exploitation of the Indonesian rainforest and its wildlife.

2021 highlight: Supported the Lesten village community to access Village Forest Permit from the Ministry of Forestry, allowing the community of Lesten to sustainably manage the forest around the village.

FoProBiM (Haiti)


Focuses on restoring and conserving mangrove forests throughout Haiti as they are critical to protecting local communities against the impact of storms. FoProBiM also provides training to local communities in activities such as apiculture and eco-tourism.

2021 highlights: 2 mangrove nurseries developed, 40,000 mangrove plants prepared in nurseries and out-planted to reforestation sites, 1,010km of bamboo and barbed wire fencing put in place to keep animals (goats and cows) out of the reforested areas, and 60 individuals have participated in activities (collecting seeds, making biodegradable baskets, collecting seeds, preparing the mangrove nurseries, out-planting).

Arbio Peru (Peru)


Collects data on Shihuahuaco trees, which are at risk of logging, and also on the extensive wildlife found in the region. They maintain a permanent presence of rangers to protect the trees from illegal logging and drive community outreach programs to promote important Amazon conservation work.

2021 highlights: An expedition to the rainforest with 2 nature photographers, a training for their park ranger team in Puerto Maldonado for the use of monitor tools for deforestation warning. Improvement in equipment, including a new motor for the boat and a new electric generator for the base camp.

SW Niger Delta Forest Project (Nigeria)


Works to provide and implement conservation solutions that will enhance the survival of threatened species and forest habitats in southwestern Nigeria. One of the organization's main focuses is to save and protect the vulnerable chimpanzee population by enhancing the chimpanzees' status amongst local communities and decision-makers.

2021 highlights: Rangers equipped for effective surveillance and patrol of the conservation area, established conservation education programs in primary and secondary schools in local communities. As a result, they eradicated all forms of entrenched threats in the conservation area, particularly posed by marijuana planters clearing vast areas of forests to grow marijuana.

Mangrove Action Project (Fiji, Philippines, Mexico)

Works to protect and restore mangrove forests worldwide by educating and training local community conservation groups, NGOs, and government staff on how to restore and maintain fragile mangrove ecosystems that have been lost, degraded, or damaged by using natural regeneration methods.

2021 highlights: Online training adapted for Fiji and Small Island Pacific States for 30 staff members of local conservation organizations to improve restoration efforts at their sites, and online training offered to local NGOs and community associations in the Philippines. As a result, stakeholders adapted their restoration plans and created priority sites after assessment of the physical conditions of abandoned shrimp ponds.

ProPurús (Peru, Brazil)

Dedicated to the conservation of forests, the sustainable use of natural resources, and the promotion of the balanced development of the indigenous peoples of the Peruvian jungle. An important part of the work of ProPurús is focused on the protection of the people in isolation that live in the border area of ​​Peru and Brazil.

2021 highlight: Helped with the donation of tools to the Indigenous communities to build organic gardens to strengthen their food sovereignty.

Ecological Balance (Cameroon)

Ecological Balance works to reduce illegal logging and replant deforested areas with native trees. By combining education and participation with active restoration efforts, they want to bring the benefits and value of forest back into the everyday life of the people of the Mt Cameroon forest landscape.

2021 highlights: Collected seeds for the tree nursery and planted them to make seedlings to plant out, clean up activities on World Clean Up Day including collecting waste from the forests.

Bangladesh Environment and Development Society(BEDS) (Bangladesh)

BEDS works to restore degraded mangrove forest areas, destroyed due to human activities and climate change impacts. They create mangrove buffer zones, which will not only protect the coastal households but also assist to improve their livelihoods, as well as contributing to carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation.

2021 highlight: Approximately 100,000 better-rooting saplings are available for mangrove plantation, which will create mangrove-based livelihoods in the long run.

Case study: A closer look at Mangroves

Mangroves act as nurseries for aquatic organisms, habitats for birds, and as shields against physical damage of shorelines due to tidal waves, erosion, hurricanes, and tsunamis. Their role in supporting vital ecosystems is broad and fundamental.

Oceans are the planet’s biggest carbon sinks, and mangroves protect their health. Since the 1980s over 35% of the world’s mangroves have been lost due to human activities including development, agriculture, and deforestation.

We’re working with SeaTrees to help restore a mangrove forest in Mida Creek, Kenya

We are supporting SeaTrees and their partner organization in Kenya COBEC to restore 100+ hectares of degraded mangrove forest within the Malindi Watamu National Marine Park and Reserve—a UNESCO Designated Biosphere Area and one of the world’s oldest Marine Protected Areas. Mida Creek is approximately 140 km north of Mombasa, Kenya's second-largest city. The creek covers an area of 32 km2.

What is happening in Mida Creek?

Mangrove trees have been illegally harvested for lumber and charcoal production, due to local economic pressures.

Why does it matter?

Mida Creek supports the surrounding local communities—providing food, revenue from tourism, and protection from storm surges and sea level rise. From a biodiversity perspective—the area is a critical stopover for migratory birds, as well as home to sea turtle habitat and nesting areas, is used as a nursing ground for humpback whales, and has a large resident population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins.

How we’re helping?

SeaTrees and COBEC support 20 community-led planting initiatives in the Mida Creek area, directly impacting over 200 people. The income generated by mangrove planting allows members of the local community to buy food, pay for their children to attend school, and develop other projects to ensure long-term revenue for their communities. In 2021, we worked with SeaTrees to fund the planting of 150,000 mangrove trees in the Mida Creek area.

Did you know?

Mangrove forests can sequester up to 4 times more CO2 than tropical rainforests.* * The Independent, Magic of mangroves: The plant that sequesters more CO2 than rainforests’, 10 December 2021. A mangrove tree can sequester around 300kg of carbon emissions over its lifetime.* * Eden Reforestation Projects, Mangrove Forest Carbon Sequestration. The conservation, restoration, and improved management of tropical forests, mangroves, and peatlands peatlands Terrestrial wetland ecosystems in which waterlogged conditions prevent plant material from fully decomposing. Consequently, the production of organic matter exceeds its decomposition, which results in a net accumulation of peat.could provide 23% of cost-effective mitigation action needed by 2030 to limit global warming to 2°C.* * World Resources Institute, Ending Tropical Deforestation: Tropical Forests and Climate Change: The Latest Science (accessed June 2018).

Bee The Change fund

We launched the Bee The Change fund on World Bee Day 2020, with the aim to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators and support grassroots NGOs working to preserve them. Pollinators are crucial for the balance and health of ecosystems around the world.

Vital for the survival of people

Image by Aaron Burden, Unsplash.

Vital for the balance of our planet

Our Bee The Change fund currently supports 4 grassroots organizations:

We're proud of this:

In 2021 we donated over $30,000 from our retail partnerships, pop-ups, and internal sample sales to our Bee The Change fund.

Buglife (United Kingdom)


Buglife’s B-Lines project helps pollinators, including bees, to move across the UK by creating a network of insect pathways. Most pollinators are confined to isolated habitat areas, and an estimated 40-70% of species could go extinct if action is not taken.

2021 highlight: Delivery of ‘B-Lines: Insect Superhighways’ online conference, which attracted over 900 registrations from landowners, farmers, local authority representatives, MPs and ecologists.

Nordens Ark (Sweden)

Nordens Ark’s Tag a Bee project aims to tag 5000 bees in Sweden with RFID chips (radio-frequency identification) to learn how, when, and where they fly to collect pollen, which can then better inform the protection and preservation of both domestic and wild bees.


2021 highlight: Planned and designed 100 sowing and planting sites.

Bumblebee Conservation Trust (United Kingdom)


The Short-haired Bumblebee Reintroduction project is reintroducing this bee species to the UK by working with farmers, conservation groups, and other landowners to create flower-rich habitats within the release area. The species was last recorded in 1988 and declared extinct in 2000.

2021 highlight: Recruited an additional 24 volunteers who are undertaking bumblebee surveys and a further 18 land owners who have been given bespoke advice to increase flower rich habitat for bumblebees and other pollinators.

Milgis Trust (Kenya)

Milgis Trust runs a beekeeping program together with indigenous groups in Northern Kenya. They use sustainable beekeeping methods and develop marketable products to enhance the beekeepers’ livelihood.

2021 highlight: Remaining equipment delivered for hive production season and practical training for beekeepers for the next stage of hive management, including honey extraction undertaken.

Image by Digby Douglas-Dufresne, Milkywire.

People

We engage with people-focused initiatives through the lens of supporting next generations, with the aim to reduce inequalities and empower young people around the globe.

In 2021 we donated over $50,000 towards social justice initiatives, supporting causes including racial justice and LGBTQIA+ rights. We also provided PANGAIA products to frontline workers, young people, and environmental NGOs for a total retail value of over $1.8m.

Whenever possible, we aim to respond to global emergencies by working with NGOs that provide emergency aid and relief on the ground.

We also work closely with our People team to engage our internal team with these causes and initiatives – organizing talks, fundraisers and events on a regular basis.

March

We supported the Stop Asian Hate movement by donating to Stop AAPI Hate and End the Virus of Racism.
We raised funds to support and empower refugee women in partnership with Choose Love, through sales of an upcycled collection in honor of International Women’s Day.

April

We raised funds through an internal sample sale to support Doctors Without Borders in their Covid-19 relief efforts.

June

PANGAIA employees took part in the 5k Run for Heroes, raising funds for Doctors Without Borders.
We celebrated Pride through a series of internal events and talks, as well as donations to AKT and True Colors United.
We donated to Black Lives Matter, NAACP, and Color of Change in observance of Juneteenth.
To celebrate World Oceans Day and in partnership with Milkywire, we raised funds through product sales to support Michael Mwang’ombe, a Kenyan researcher working in ocean conservation.

September

Through our partnership with artist and skateboarder Haroshi, we raised funds and donated to Make Life Skate Life and Wonders of the World, supporting their efforts to make skateboarding more accessible.

October

For UK Black History Month, we donated to Black Lives Matter, and Black Minds Matter to support racial justice and equality.

December

We sent surprise gift boxes filled with PANGAIA products to over 10,000 medical frontline workers in the UK, the US, Italy, and Portugal, as well as to environmental NGOs and young people.

Going forward

Our intention for the year ahead is to keep supporting the NGOs within our network, as well as increase awareness of these important causes among our community and beyond.

We are exploring how we can put our platform to use to elevate some of these initiatives. As an example, we are currently working on a public-facing campaign on the importance of biodiversity and the actions needed to protect it. We are not ready to share this yet but hopefully will be in a few months!

We are also looking to increase the scope of our work towards supporting climate justice projects. We recognize that climate justice is an ever-growing issue that will need to be addressed at every level of society and we aim to develop stronger partnerships with NGOs operating in that sphere.

Finally, in an effort to engage our team with our philanthropic initiatives even further, we aim to implement a volunteering program as well as increase impact-focused internal activations.

Image by Wade Million, Global Forest Generation.

In Closing...

PANGAIA is on an ongoing journey of reflection, discovery, and action. We are dedicated to our goal of becoming an Earth Positive business and designing a better future.

“The age of humans, the Antropocene, calls for a new rational optimism. We know that what we do today will inevitably change our tomorrow, and we believe in the collective power of people to shape the future we all want. A future in balance with nature, for our planet and its people. We want to make this future possible. To bring together the most brilliant minds and to allow science and innovation to guide our purpose.” - PANGAIA Collective

In the last 2 years, we made significant strides towards this north star, but we still have a long way to go. We are committed to progress and to contributing to a more responsible fashion industry by making problem-solving innovations accessible to the world.

An Open Invitation

We are rooted in collaboration and we welcome others to join us on this mission. We invite all brands, institutions, academics, innovators, and educators to talk to us about these challenges and join us in amplifying and scaling solutions. So please get in touch.