Earth911 talks with Derrick Emsley, CEO of tentree, a clothing company making a difference. The company plants 10 trees for every article of clothing it sells. It has already planted 56.3 million trees and is working to reduce the environmental impact of its clothing production processes by using wood-based Tencel fiber, hemp, organic cotton, and recycled polyester in its clothing. tentree has audited its supply chain to offset CO2 emissions and reduce water usage compared to traditional clothing makers by as much as 75%. By 2023, tentree plans to eliminate all single-use plastic from packaging. Derrick and cof0unders David Luba and Kalen Emsley are intent on building company that goes beyond net-zero emissions to restore the environment.
Emsley explains that tentree is really a tree-planting company that makes clothing, and suggests that the company could expand into other product categories to support its goal of planting 1 billion trees by 2030. He says that at tentree’s current growth rate, they will hit the billion-tree target on time. We also discuss customers’ willingness to pay a premium for clothing that offers convenient carbon offsets. In addition to its solid environmental record, Emsley shares how tree-planting projects in the mangrove-lined coast of Madagascar have lifted entire communities out of poverty and helped to restore local fisheries.
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This article contains affiliate links that help fund our Recycling Directory, the most comprehensive in North America. If you purchase an item through one of these links, we will receive a small commission. This podcast originally aired on May 3, 2021.