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Tentree: Environmentally Friendly Business Through Selling Clothes

environmentally friendly business
A group of friends envisioned an environmentally friendly business. They combined one friend’s knowledge of tree planting with the world’s desire for apparel, which is how Tentree was formed.

For every item purchased from the clothing line, 10 trees are planted. In an article published by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the company measures its success not on profits but by how many trees they have planted.

Tentree’s website includes an interactive map which displays where the trees have been planted all over the world. As of September 2016, the company has planted 9,382,290 trees. The following is a list of countries and its respective number of trees planted:

  • Madagascar – 4,936,830
  • Senegal – 1,395,500
  • Nepal – 1,463,290
  • Ethiopia – 724,140
  • India – 135,800
  • Malawi – 225,000
  • Kenya – 149,540
  • Canada – 57,780
  • Haiti – 278,560
  • Cambodia – 10,290
  • United States – 5,000

The website includes information on what individual consumers’ trees accomplish for the world and community. Some important contributions made by trees that are highlighted include lifting water out of the soil, providing food for the local population, supplying oxygen to breathe and removing carbon dioxide from the air.

A village in Madagascar, Mahabana, has seen the largest number of trees planted and the greatest improvement from the program. Tentree started a project in the village with 40 people working to plant trees.

In an interview with Now This, Kalen Emsley, one of the co-founders of the company reports that the project has grown to over 450 people working full time, completely supported by Tentree.

The restoration of the ecosystem of mangrove trees has lead to a return in wildlife, a rebounding fishing industry and people have been able to start selling fruit.

According to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Tentree planted 7,000 trees in the Lac La Ronge Provincial Park along with the government in the province after forest fires ravaged parts of Saskatchewan.

The forest fires burned parts of the park in 2015. Tentree announced their plans to help replant trees at the Saskatchewan Fashion Week. They shipped donations of clothing people who were evacuated in the Fort McMurray wildfire this summer and are beginning to make plans for replanting in that area.

Tentree hopes their environmentally friendly business goes beyond helping the environment. They work with local and global nonprofit organizations to ensure prime results like WeForest, Canadian Wildlife Federation, Eden Reforestation, American Forests and Trees for the Future. They hire people from the local communities to grow, tend and plant the trees.

As stated on the Tentree website: “Every consumer that purchases a Tentree branded piece of clothing is showing their dedication to the values our team shares: environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and the hope for a brighter future.” Tentree hopes to make a lasting community, both locally and globally, with their environmentally friendly business of clothing and tree planting.

Rhonda Marrone

Photo: Flickr