For Every Purchase, This Environmentally Progressive Apparel Brand Plants 10 Trees Around The World, Revitalizing Natural Ecosystems And Protecting People and Planet.
Tree-planting company first, apparel brand second, Tentree is doing progressive conservation work through the sale of its inclusive, versatile, and sustainable clothing. This thriving Canadian brand makes it easy for customers to feel that they are doing their part to protect and preserve our Earth’s ecosystems. Environmentalism is no longer left to the intellectuals. It’s for all of us, as part of our inherent connection to and responsibility for nature. From understanding the materials that we wear day in and day out, to the impact it has on our planet to turn them into clothes, Tentree is empowering us all to create big change, even if it’s step by step, or tree by tree.
A Tree-Planting Company That Sells Apparel
At Tentree, every item you purchase will plant 10 trees, hence its name.
It’s a philosophy, a service, a product, an outcome, and a community, all wrapped up into one simple and effective idea – reflected in its straightforward name – that has become, or rather has always been, the heartbeat of the company, driving its production and fueling its sales in an organic, synergistic flow.
Founders Kalen Emsley and David Luba will tell you a slightly different version of their story – one of how they started a tree-planting company that sells apparel, not the other way around. And it’s this pure conservation mission to plant trees and rehabilitate natural ecosystems that has kept the growing company on track to become one of the world’s most environmentally progressive brands where the cause is not the side-note, it’s the main event.
The idea for Tentree was, not so surprisingly, inspired by and out in nature. During a trip to Hawaii in 2011, Canadian-natives and then teenagers Kalen and David were moved by the surrounding untouched landscape and left with a desire to protect and preserve our world’s most beautiful natural habitats.
At a time when “one for one” sustainable business models were gaining word-of-mouth popularity, pioneered by the likes of TOMS Shoes, who promises to give a pair of free shoes to a child in need for every purchase, the two friends were eager to expand on this concept.
Their vision was to make environmentalism more accessible to and inclusive for all, particularly their own younger generation that has inherited a global environmental crisis with little recourse.
Customers Turned Environmentalists
As the brand empowers its young consumers to become more responsible stewards of our Earth through its powerful messaging and eco-friendly, sustainably-made clothes, Tentree’s customers can feel that they are doing their valued part, and even getting something that they want in return.
And alongside its non-profit partners, including Eden Reforestation Projects and One Tree Planted, Tentree is doing some seriously progressive environmentalist work.
Throughout its 8 years, the company has planted 50 million trees in over 10 countries – from Asia to Africa, and North America to South – with a bold vision to plant 1 billion by 2030, fueled by their compounding success.
As Tentree delved deeper into their planting projects, they began to notice unexpected fruits of their labor. In addition to fighting the devastating impacts of climate change on delicate or damaged global ecosystems, tree-planting was offering an ideal solution for local and indigenous communities who were also affected. In many cases, the new trees provided access to more reliable water sources and new opportunities for sustainable agricultural livelihoods.
Bringing customers closer to their impact, Tentree has established Register Your Trees, a tree tracking software program that links a code from your purchases to trees planted. Through impressive visual and multimedia story-telling, the company gives its community of customers-turned-environmentalists behind the scenes access to their projects in each country around the world, building greater trust through transparency and motivation through inspiration.
Small Acts Create Big Change
The true seed that Tentree is planting with their message, and building on with every decision they make, is the idea that small acts can create big change. As the brand points out – “we made this mess one little thing at a time, and that’s exactly how we’re going to fix it.”
Fueled by this belief and its defining conservation mission, Tentree has been pushing the boundaries of sustainable fashion at every step of its manufacturing and design process, working conditions, supply chain, and materials selection, reaching B-Corp status in 2016.
And for the skeptics who may doubt that a fashion brand could truly be doing things differently, Tentree’s Eco-Log, published with the help of GreenStep to monitor and report their environmental impact, proves that those decisions are indeed adding up. In the published third-party report, a Tentree signature Hoodie received a significantly better eco-score than a similar conventional garment in large part due to the lower water consumption of the brand’s organic and sustainable materials, as well as the offset of carbon emissions that its tree-planting projects provide.
While no fashion brand is close to reaching a net zero environmental impact, Tentree may be achieving something more profound – giving hope to younger generations that we can reduce our ecological footprint and start rebuilding damaged ecosystems 10 trees at a time.
As Featured In
Tentree’s sustainable clothing and business practices were featured in Business Insider.
Where to Find
Tentree can be found at Retail Partners such as REI, Buckle and Moosejaw. Click here to find a store near you.