A week ago, the whole Tala team took a trip up to Dorsington to visit the Tala Ten Trees field and get our hands dirty planting trees. Tala Ten Trees is our beloved conservation programme, where we fund the planting of 10 trees for every 200 products we sell, in partnership with the Heart of England Forest. For most of the team, this was the first time seeing the woodland in the flesh, and it did us all a world of good spending the day outside; hugging trees, getting our hands in the soil, and feeling the wind in our hair - living in London will make you appreciate those little things all the more!
We were lucky enough to have a guided tour from head Forester, Stephen, and Partnerships Director, Karen. We learned the story of magazine and book publisher Felix Dennis, who founded the Heart of England Forest back in 1996. Having built a publishing powerhouse and having lived mostly a 'sex, drugs, and rock n roll' lifestyle, in his later years, Felix turned to his passions of poetry and conservation, buying up land around his home to plant trees. He passed away in 2014, leaving the bulk of his fortune to the creation and upkeep of the forest he founded, which has now surpassed 3,000 acres / over 1 million trees, with the dream of reaching 30,000 acres. 25 species of broad-leaf trees are planted at HoEF, with oak as one of the more predominant.
On our tour, Stephen took us through the garden of exotic trees, where we smelled the burnt-caramel aroma of the Katsura tree and stopped for lunch in the sculpture garden - a quirky collection of bronze sculptures commissioned by Mr Dennis. We all got to plant some trees in the Tala plot, 1,000 and counting, while our design director Joe mostly played around with a drone.
From the beginnings of Tala, co-founders Josh, Woody, Ciaran, and Symo had a vision to incorporate environmental conservation into the ethos of their low carbon hardware brand, striving to create carbon negative products. Reforestation is so important to mitigating the effects of climate change because trees soak up excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases emitted through the burning of fossil fuels, act as a thermal blanket, absorbing heat from the sun and leading to global warming.
Trees are beautifully designed by nature to "inhale" carbon dioxide, use it to synthesise food (sugars are long chains of carbon), and "exhale" oxygen as a by-product (I'm sure you all remember crystal clearly from your GCSEs this process known as photosynthesis). So, not only do they generate the oxygen we need to breath, they help us to correct the grand errors we have made since the industrial revolution. Yeah, trees are f*%@ing awesome, which is why we take inspiration from them in our design process and give back by planting more.
As Tala grows, so will our reforestation and broader conservation efforts. Our vision is to leave a greener world for generations to come, and we want our customers to be part of the journey, which is why we pledge 10 trees for every 200 products sold. As a British brand, it's important for us to help preserve local ecosystems and bring the UK up to par in reforestation (13% of UK woodland has been restored, versus an average of 37% across European). As our operations in the US grow over the coming year, we have exciting plans for an ecosystem-wide conservation initiative... watch this space!
See more fabulous photos of our trip here