Giving Tuesdays – TenTree

ten tree

Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Giving Tuesday was born and incubated at the 92nd Street Y and its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact in New York City. Giving Tuesday is now an independent nonprofit and a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity

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This movement has inspired countless businesses to factor giving back as a major part of their brand. Here at Modern Mama, we would love to highlight this generosity by shining the spotlight on these exceptional companies. On the first Tuesday of every month, we will post a “Giving Tuesday” blog featuring a Canadian company that has made it their mission to give back. If you are a company that would like to be featured, or would like to nominate one, please contact me at

This month we’re highlight TenTree. Started in a basement in Regina, Saskatchewan, by 3 friends who wanted to help the planet, TenTree established a mission to plant 10 trees for every piece of clothing purchased.

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The Founders

In 2011, Kalen Emsley — who was working as a tree planter — reached out to an old friend of his, David Luba, who was living in Hawaii. Kalen wound up catching a flight out, and while there, they were inspired to start a clothing brand that gave back back to the earth they fell in love with on that Hawaii trip. And that’s where the idea of tentree was born.

The next step was roping Derrick Emsley, Kalen’s brother, into the company — Derrick gladly came on as our CEO. The initial support from the Emsley’s hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan was overwhelming and offered us an amazing launching pad to get tentree off the ground. The community was excited about the idea of trees being planted for each item purchased.

The Beginnings

In March of 2013, David, Kalen, and Derrick appeared on an episode of Dragon’s Den — a TV show where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to high-profile venture capitalists to secure funding. We wound up being nominated as one of the top 10 “Game Changing” pitches from the first 8 seasons of the show, and yes, we did secure the funding we needed to grow tentree to the next level.

 Certified B Corporation

In May of 2016, we became a certified B Corporation, or B Corp for short. A B Corp is a business that meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental support, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. In order to become a B Corp, your brand must have a score of at least 80 points on their scale. We scored in at over 124.

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Our Mission

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. But over the years, we’ve realized that our journey doesn’t start and end with planting trees. 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 75% less water to make than the other sweatshirts in your closet.

Earth-First is our commitment to making choices in a world where the planet and its people come first, always.

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In 2020, we launched our Climate+ program, a growing collection of brands and change-makers dedicated to doing good for our planet. Climate+ is the action of going beyond net zero. It means doing more than just offsetting carbon emissions – we’re creating an environmental benefit by removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

We also created Climate+ packages you can purchase that plant trees to offset your daily pleasures like extra-steamy showers, avocado toast, and weekend getaways. Beyond offsetting carbon emissions, Climate+ rehabilitates ecosystems and provides jobs across the globe. With the help of our partners and our community, we planted 185,050 trees through Climate+ for Earth Day in 2020. That’s ~57,086 tonnes of CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere. Want to know more about Climate+? Read more about it here.

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50 Million Trees Planted

On November 19, 2020, we hit our biggest milestone yet: 50 million trees planted! And by “we”, we mean “you.” Without your support, there’s no way we could have made such a huge impact. But what’s the impact of 50 million trees? We’re glad you asked.

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The Goal

We know it’s a big, audacious goal, but we’re committed to doing better by our planet, one tree at a time. After all, big change starts small. We’d love for you to plant with us! Take a look at our Climate+ packages, explore our planting sites, or browse our earth-first apparel.

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