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August 21, 2023 - Six Senses Residences Courchevel offers fully equipped apartments, an on-site ski shop, and a lodge at the Croisette. And now our partnership with One Tree at a Time gives skiwear a second life to ski with a greener conscience.
Courchevel was made for skiing. With the largest ski area in the world on the doorstep, our 31 managed penthouses and apartments at Six Senses Residences Courchevel give you direct access to a 600-kilometer network of pistes across Les 3 Vallées. Every detail – from delivering your hearty breakfast to tugging off your ski boots and servicing your skis to soothing sore muscles – is taken care of every day.
You can’t head to the Alps, however, without considering the rapid changes occurring on the world's mountain ranges. Skiers rely completely on the mountains, so why not do everything possible to negate the impact the industry has on it?
The outdoor clothing industry generates a high proportion of waste due to fashion-related consumer behavior, where jackets or underlayers are cast aside at the end of a season, often while they are still fit for purpose. Outdoor clothing can contain plastic and is a carbon-intensive product. When discarded – or even donated to a second-hand or charity store – it is not necessarily reused. Instead, it may be shipped abroad, where it is hard to trace. Some items are incinerated, and others sent to landfill. Think about it. Who in countries such as Ghana needs skiwear? Plastic fibers find their way into our air and waterways.
Six Senses Residences Courchevel has partnered with One Tree at a Time, which employs local people to patch and repair garments, raises awareness among local businesses, creates educational content, and delivers hands-on repair workshops.
Founded in 2019 by Gavin Fernie-Jones, One Tree at a Time was set up to encourage independent ski resort businesses to make small adjustments to reduce their environmental impact.
In a short space of time, Gavin has galvanized considerable support in his local Alpine community and made a tangible impact. Like a welcome orange jacket in a whiteout, Six Senses Residences Courchevel spotted him!
“After realizing the positive changes that we could make in our own boot-fitting business, The Boot Lab, our initial aim was to share what we had learned with other local businesses,” says Gavin. “Little did we know we were creating a larger movement.”
Living in the Alps, Gavin is on the north face when it comes to seeing for himself the impact global warming is having on his home. The temperatures in the Alps are estimated to have risen about 2 degrees Celsius since the Industrial Revolution, faster than the global average, and the average snow season has shortened by 38 days since 1960.
One Tree at a Time aims to embed circular approaches to change behaviors, turn waste to wealth, and build a community to protect the environment he loves.
“We reduce waste by keeping products in action. Using local skills, we sort, patch, repair, and upcycle a whole range of outdoor clothing with the aim of keeping materials in our local community. At One Tree, we treat every product that comes through the community hub door with the utmost respect. To make sure these products are reused, we rely on creativity and local skills. We patch over branding, replace zips, and design appealing new garments and accessories using techniques such as screen printing. Our seamstresses are amazing, and the results speak for themselves. We keep over 80 percent of donated products in the local economy. This is a really high figure compared to the industry standard of around 20 percent. We also separate the children's clothing which is added to our free-to-use sharing rack. This helps introduce the idea of sharing to a young audience and works to create discussion and to disrupt consumption.”
The purpose is to tackle these products at source to reduce the pollution that is exported to the Global South. Any funds left over from their activities are used to plant trees in Africa. To date, One Tree at a Time has removed over 10,000 single-use plastic bags from supply lines, kept thousands of garments out of landfill, planted over 100,000 trees, and greatly reduced carbon outputs through re-use and reduction programs.
Gavin continues, “The support of Six Senses is essential in increasing our impact. The funding is being used to employ more locals. The Alps are teeming with small innovative businesses, and this boost is enabling us to research solutions to tackle the small amount of waste that, so far, we haven’t been able to address. We have a prototype solution in the works at the moment.”
Six Senses Residences Courchevel also supports a comprehensive workshop series, which invites adults and children to repair classes, t-shirt printing, and upcycling lessons. It is also a great way to strip all the components out of garments that can’t be resold – such as zips, fastenings, buttons, and fabrics – for reuse.
“These workshops are an important way of upskilling the local community and involving people in the solution,” Gavin continues, “We're particularly excited to offer workshops to the Six Senses team. This skill sharing wouldn't be possible on this scale without their support.”
Ethical purchasing: Be part of the solution. Use your purchasing power to transform an industry. Keep clothing out of landfill and buy from local, ethical brands.
Join the One Tree community: Ask at the Six Senses Residences Courchevel reception desk for more information. 75 percent of any donation goes to community events and workshops, 15 percent to tree planting, and 10 percent to administration.
Get ready to hit the slopes and plan ahead for your ski adventures with Early Booking at Six Senses Residences Courchevel. Enjoy 10 percent off the Best Flexible Rate, spa credit and more.