Get to Know a Vendor: tentree

By: Levi Opsatnic

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It’s not every day that we welcome a new vendor into our doors, but a few months back we stumbled onto a company that seemed to have some really great products and an even better story. With that, we decided to bring the brand tentree into our ever-growing selection. tentree has an environmental focus that you don’t see everywhere and is a company that’s able to craft some of the most responsible and aesthetically appealing clothing on the market, so without further holdup, let’s see what makes this brand such a solid addition to our store.

“At tentree, our goal is to become the most environmentally progressive brand on the planet.” Without having any background on the company, that might seem like a pretty large pair of shoes to fill, however, with practices like what tentree utilizes, you’ll quickly see that they are well on their way to meeting this goal. For starters, this Canada-based company does just what their name implies, which is that they plant ten fresh trees every time that they sell a product. But they don’t stop whenever the seed meets the soil, rather, they consider these “ten trees” to be planted only after it’s been shown that these trees are “surviving” and weren’t just planted and forgotten about.

Tentree has planted these trees in over ten countries and is continuing to grow that number. While each of these countries offers a milestone and success story of its own, their work in Madagascar might take the cake for being their “largest” project yet. Madagascar boasts an incredible and distinctive environment. In fact, 90% of the plants and animals who call Madagascar home are endemic, meaning that you won’t be finding plants and animals like the traveller’s palm or fossa anywhere else on the planet. And whenever you’re dealing with a delicate ecosystem and species as rare as what you might find in Madagascar, a special degree of conservation needs to be applied, which is why tentree has planted around eight million trees that are helping to restore the in-land population of trees as well the mangroves found along the coast.

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This map shows all of the areas that tentree is working within.

Tentree also recognizes that some effects of the apparel industry can create a pretty—for lack of a better word—crappy impact on our environment. And while tentree can’t exactly change what’s already been done on their own, they are doing everything that they can to inspire a fresh generation to have a mindset that’s similar to their ethics in order to foster future environmental prosperity across our entire planet. This inspiration doesn’t end in their home of Canada, but instead, it’s something that works its way into each of their projects with the same degree of significance that you’d find in their initial tree planting. Take Haiti, for example. Haiti relies heavily on wood charcoal for a source of its fuel. Well, as you may have guessed, wood charcoal comes from trees, and since so many trees are being cut down for this reason, Haiti is left in an increased state of vulnerability for natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and landslides. This is why tentree also takes time to teach small communities how significant the proper maintenance and preservation of these trees and their accompanying habitat is to their lives and future.

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By now, you might be thinking, “how exactly is tentree able to do all of this great stuff and still make awesome clothes?” Well, their company is based around four integral principles: planting, community, manufacturing, and ecosystems. Beginning at the top with “planting,” tentree does everything that they said that they would and plants ten trees for each product that they sell. To move onto their next pillar of “community,” tentree’s operations to plant trees does a wealth of good for the local community. Along with a heavy dose of education, these communities also end up with more job opportunities, a healthier environment, and better housing out of tentree’s commitment to environmental prosperity. The next pillar of “manufacturing” also shows that tentree pays attention to every detail in their process. tentree is a certified B Corp and only works with manufacturers that provide their employees a livable wage, a safe place to work, and operates within a strong commitment to other important factors of the workplace that are often taken for granted in the United States. Not only does tentree work with responsible manufacturing companies, but they also manufacture their products with environmentally-friendly materials, such as coconut buttons, cork trim patches, and fabrics made from hemp, organic cotton, recycled polyester, and TENCEL. Coming to the last pillar of “ecosystem,” tentree’s entire process is able to create a better ecosystem, simply because planting more trees does tons of wonderful things like prevent erosion, create rich habitats, and provide important carbon storage.

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There’s no doubt that tentree is making great strides to become the “most environmentally progressive brand on the planet,” and by the year 2030, tentree plans to plant one billion trees. And really, this is something that relies heavily on their consumers, so the next time you’re on the market for a new piece of clothing, consider making your investment with tentree, and you’ll be happy that your dollar continued beyond the register and into the root system of a healthy tree.


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