Meet tentree, a lifestyle apparel company based out of Vancouver, that plants ten trees for every item purchased. By combining social and environmental consciousness with lifestyle apparel, tentree allows consumers to have a direct impact on the environment and communities worldwide.
The goal at the company is to become the most environmentally progressive brand on the planet by reducing the negative impact of the apparel industry and use it as a vehicle for change.
Every tentree item is made using a blend of sustainable fabrics. Check out a few examples of some of the environmentally progressive fabrics tentree is using in their products. The company also works to promote fair labour practices and safe working conditions throughout their supply chain. The company only works with socially and environmentally responsible factories that are WRAP approved, agree to yearly unannounced audits, and abide by our code of ethics.
Below is a quick Q&A with Derrick Emsley, founder of tentree.
What inspired you to start Tentree back in in 2012?
Our experience in tree planting from when we were in High School. We saw the impact it could have on the environment and wanted to create something that would have an even larger impact and provide jobs/education/etc.
There were a lot of companies focused on social good but no one focused on giving back to the environment in a tangible way. All the environmental initiatives were focused on reducing the negative impact (organic instead of regular cotton) – very few were focused on having a positive impact.
Do you find being based in Canada has a lot to do with your ethos as a company and your love for nature?
Absolutely! Canada has been incredibly supportive of tentree through our growth. As well, Canadians have a very outdoors-y culture. Whether it’s hiking, camping, etc. Our motto is “protect the world you play in” and this seems to really resonate with Canadians.
Tell us a little about your tree planting strategy and the organizations you are working with locally and abroad!
Our goal is to enrich impoverished communities. We use tree planting as a means to provide food, education, shelter, and overall communal prosperity. We’re not looking to foster dependence through these projects. We’re trying to teach the locals how they can build these projects, maintain them, and grow them. Our tree planting efforts support education initiatives in the area to explain to these communities how deforestation has led to poverty, lack of jobs, poor fishing, etc. This helps to ensure people don’t find themselves in the same situation.
We wanted to create something that was focused on the old adage of “give someone a fish and they eat for a day, teach someone to fish and they eat for the rest of their lives”.
How does the design and manufacturing process of your apparel correspond with your commitment to community and transparency?
We strive to provide ethically sourced, fashionable clothing with eco-friendly materials, while still giving back to the Earth. We remain committed to ethically responsible manufacturing processes and incorporating eco-conscious materials in all our products. We use sustainable fabrics like recycled polyester, organic cotton, cork trims, hemp, tencel, etc. We also use certified, responsible manufacturers that commit to our ethical standards.
Tentree works with socially and environmentally responsible factories and works to promote fair labour practices and safe working conditions. The factories commit to fair hours of work, no child labour, fair compensation based on local laws, a safe and healthy workplace, and adherence to environmentally conscious practices.
Grant is the founder of Causeartist, one of the most influential impact business platforms in the world. Since 2013, Causeartist has been read in over 200 countries. Grant has personally interviewed over 600 impact entrepreneurs from around the world, highlighting innovations in ethical fashion, climate change, ethical technology, impact investing, and sustainable travel.