Sustainable fashion brand Tentree makes essentials using sustainable, comfortable fabrics. Every time a consumer purchases an item, the company plants ten trees. Isn’t that what the world needs right now?
In 2011, tree planter Kalen Emsley reached out to old friend David Luba in Hawaii and shortly took a flight there to disuse launching a clothing brand that gave back back to the earth. That was the inspiration of fashion brand, Tentree. Next, they brought on board Kalen’s brother Derrick, as CEO. The initial support from Emsleys’ hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan was overwhelming and offered them a launch pad to get Tentree off the ground as the community was excited about the idea of trees being planted for each item purchased.
Initially, the team operated out of Kalen’s basement in Regina. Slowly the business took off and the team wanted to increase its impact beyond tree planting to focusing on sustainable fabrics.Their vision was to provide the most environmentally progressive apparel possible to do better by the planet. In March 2013, David, Kalen and Derrick appeared on an episode of Dragon’s Den — a television show where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to venture capitalists with a goal to secure funding. They wound up being nominated as the team with one of the top ten game changing pitches and secured funding to grow Tentree to the next level. The following year, in collaboration with international non-profit organisations, the team had planted one million trees. That year, their apparel was being sold worldwide and they introduced a tree registry program, which allowed customers to track where their trees were being planted and what impact they were having on the environment.
In May 2016, Tentree became a certified B Corporation i.e. a business that met the highest standards of verified social and environmental support, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. And, they crossed the fifteen million trees mark! ”Fifteen million trees is a major milestone for Tentree, but ultimately, it is just the beginning” explained Derrick in a company release. ”Our goal is to become the most environmentally progressive brand on the planet and we are targeting over one billion trees by 2030… It has always been our goal to bring the customer closer to their impact. Their purchase is what allows us to plant trees, provide jobs, and help an incredible number of people. We want every customer to feel emotionally connected to their impact. The tree registry program allows us to do this by highlighting where the trees will be planted, the type of tree, and then allows us to provide updates on the progress.”
August 2016 was a milestone period — the trio relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia, home to some of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in Canada and by virtue attracting the kind of people that would want to work with an earth-first apparel brand. On Earth Day 2019, the team partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects to plant a tree for every ten likes on a particular post on Instagram and quickly reached the goal of 500,000 trees planted! In 2020, Tentree launched its Climate+ program, a collection of brands and change-makers dedicated to doing good for the planet. The future looks bright — Tentree has an ambitious goal of planting one billion trees by 2030, one tree at a time.
To ensure we leave the smallest impact on our environment and to find better, healthier and more eco-progressive solutions for our customers.
“Everything we do stems from how to do better by our planet—like planting trees. We plant trees because it’s one of the best ways to create a more sustainable future… We’re constantly looking at innovative ways to make apparel with the smallest possible footprint and create more circular supply chains. To give you some context, a tentree sweatshirt uses on average seventy five per cent less water to make than the other sweatshirts in your closet.”
Kalen Emsley, David Luba and Derrick Emsley
Apparel and accessories. Every time a consumer purchases an item, the company plants ten trees. Isn’t that what the world needs right now?