Introducing tentree's Eco-Log
When it comes to climate change and pollution, we know that the apparel industry is one of the world's biggest offenders. So as an apparel brand, we wanted to find out exactly what the impact of our apparel is in order to think of new ways to reduce our impact. We wanted to understand the water, waste, and CO2e created, so we partnered up with Greenstep, a specialist in sustainability and carbon management to do a side-by-side comparison of our items and similar conventionally-manufactured items.
We wanted to find out exactly what our resource usage was from fabric to end customer so we can educate our customers on what they're buying. Additionally this allows us to determine if there are ways we can cut down or change our manufacturing processes to lessen our impact.
Greenstep collected an enormous amount of data from us. They needed to know everything about us; what materials we used, how much material we used, the weight of each garment, what we used to package and transport the garments, and how we stored the apparel in our warehouses and retail spaces.
They also took into consideration what happens to our apparel when it's no longer in our hands. They studied how products withstand normal use, washing and drying, as well as the energy impact of washing and drying the product.
The final step was to look to examine the impact of our tree planting. In partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects, tentree plants 10 trees for each item purchased, and those trees all have a positive impact on the planet. We've planted more than 30 million trees, 100 different species total, in different parts of the world.
Greenstep was able to extrapolate an estimated figure based on the data received from Eden Reforestation, one of our planting partners whose focus is primarily mangrove restoration activities. Over the lifetime of their planting projects with tentree, and for the Madagascar project specifically for which they have the best dataset, comprised of approximately 12,571,045 mangroves and dry deciduous trees, Greenstep found that tentree has sequestered an estimated 6,543,023 metric tons of CO2. Based on the hectares of trees planted (2,111 ha) and since tentree joined this project in 2012 (7 years as of March 2019), this equates to roughly 43 kilograms of CO2 per tree, per year for our Madagascar planting site.
CO2e sequestration rates vary by geographic location, species and age of the tree planted. Estimates range from the above value of 43 kg CO2e per year to as low as 6 kg CO2e. Based on data provided by Eden Reforestation, as well as secondary data which included studies on urban forest systems that sequester as little as 6 kg CO2e, Greenstep used a conservative assumption of 15 kg CO2e per tree per year, equating to 150 kg CO2e per year for every item manufactured.
You can read the full report on methodology and findings here.
Once all this data was collected and analyzed, we were able to produce an Eco-Log, which can be found on all Fall ‘19 product pages, that shows the garment's impact in comparison to a similar but conventionally produced item of apparel.
At tentree we put transparency at the forefront of what we do. Partnering with Greenstep was a fantastic step in living our values. Where you spend your dollars is one of the most powerful ways to make meaningful change. We let you see our impact and then you can decide what yours will be.