Is Tentree Legit? Analysis + Unsponsored Review
Tentree is a Canadian brand whose claim to fame is that it plants 10 trees per item purchased. Since greenwashing is so prevalent these days, you may be wondering whether Tentree is actually planting those trees and if they’re truly an ethical and sustainable brand overall.
In this post, I’ll do a deep dive into Tentree’s sustainability claims and share my experience with their products.
This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, meaning that I may earn a small commission on any purchases through those links, at no extra cost to you. I’ve purchased all my Tentree items with my own money and did not receive any gifted items.
Does Tentree Actually Plant Trees?
For every item you purchase, Tentree says they plant 10 trees. This sounds pretty cool, but tree-planting schemes have been heavily criticized in recent years for being a form of greenwashing.
Carbon offsets are often used as an excuse to keep up the same polluting behavior without reductions. Beyond that, some of the tree-planting schemes were actually harming local environments by planting non-native species or clearing indigenous land for planting. Some places weren’t even planting trees at all.
All this said, Tentree is reducing its impact in other ways (which we’ll get into), so it’s not using tree-planting as a band-aid solution. The company also works with reputable local partners such as Trees for the Future, Eden Reforestation Projects, ECOAN, and Global Forest Generation to ensure that trees are actually being planted and that the species planted are native.
After you receive your Tentree item, you can scan a QR code to track what kind of tree is being planted and where. In my dashboard, I can see that I’ve planted 60 trees, 50 of which are mangroves in Madagascar or Indonesia, and 10 of which are native trees in Haiti or Senegal (I should actually have 30 more trees, but those 3 clothing items for my brother and we no longer have the tags to track the trees).
Tentree also has an in-depth page on each of their tree-planting sites, detailing the kinds of trees they’re planting there, why they chose that site, and the impact of the project.
Here’s the page for the Mahabana, Madagascar site, where they explain the importance of the mangrove estuary for local wildlife. Unfortunately, because 75% of the population is living below the extreme poverty line, they had to overharvest the mangroves for building materials and clearing the land for agriculture. This led to erosion and huge losses in the local fishing industry (due to the loss of habitat for the fish). The tree-planting project not only helps restore the environment, but also provides steady jobs for the locals.
As you can see, Tentree’s tree-planting is legitimate. They’re actually planting trees and ensuring their impact is positive on local communities.
Is Tentree Ethical + Sustainable?
Tentree uses lower-impact materials such as TENCEL, organic or recycled cotton, hemp, and recycled polyester. They also have a few items made with recycled or Responsible Wool Standard wool.
One area where they could improve is education on microplastic pollution from synthetic fabrics. While recycled synthetics are one of the better options for activewear, they still shed microplastics, so it’s important to wash less often when possible and air dry (you can also consider using a Guppyfriend washing bag).
The company has been carbon-neutral since 2020 thanks to two main projects: one that supported the manufacture and distribution of more efficient and lower-emission cookstoves in Kenya, and the other that invested in solar energy in India.
Tentree is also circular, as you can mail back in your old Tentree clothing for credit. The usable items are sold on the pre-loved section of their site and the unusable items are recycled via SuperCircle.
All Tentree orders are mailed in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic packaging. Plastic packaging isn’t the best, even if it’s 100% recycled, as soft plastics aren’t usually accepted in residential recycling. You can, however, bring plastic bags to places like Whole Foods for recycling—just Google “plastic bag recycling near me.” And on the plus side, mailers are lighter than boxes, reducing carbon emissions. Nothing’s ever perfect!
The products themselves have minimal packaging, with the items rolled and tied with paper twine instead of being placed in poly bags. The item tags are made from recycled paper.
Tentree lists their manufacturers, which are located in China, Vietnam, India, and Turkey. You can click on each one to learn more about the number of employees, their certifications, social compliance program, and other details. They state that their factories are regularly audited to ensure compliance with their code of conduct.
Their code of conduct includes the standard freedoms, such as a living wage, no forced labor, and safe conditions. Some factories have additional certifications, such as WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production).
One thing that’s a little confusing is that the US and EU website have different lists of manufacturers, though some are in common. It’s possible that certain manufacturers supply different parts of the world, or one list is more up-to-date than the other.
Tentree does have a company-wide certification as a B Corp, meaning that they’ve had their entire supply chain evaluated for social responsibility. Tentree scores 136.2 when the qualifying score to become a B Corp is 80.
This labor transparency is a decent start, but I’d like to see more information on how their factories are performing in their audits, as well as more details on how they ensure a living wage.
Tentree features models of different ethnicities on their website and social media.
Their sizing only runs from XS-XL, however, which isn’t very inclusive. Since they’re a pretty major sustainable brand, it would be awesome to see them expand their size range; after all, the average American woman is a size 16-18 (XL-XXL).
Tentree doesn’t use any animal products other than recycled and Responsible Wool Standard wool in a handful of items (I can only see 8 items containing wool from search currently).
Tentree Clothing Review
Tentree has a lot of awesome sustainability measures, and I felt comfortable spending my money there. I’ve made two orders from them and spent around $185 total. $85 was for items for my brother and mom, and $100 was for me.
What I got
- InMotion pocket bike short (pocket version sold out here’s the version without pockets)
- InMotion 7/8 pocket legging (for mom)
- InMotion high rise legging
- InMotion double scoop bra
- InMotion longline active bra (ended up with 2 because I got the sizing wrong)
- Organic cotton pocket long sleeve (2 for my brother, sold out)
- National Geographic chameleon t-shirt (for my brother)
I was kind of shocked at how good Tentree’s sale prices are. You can see that I got 9 items for about $185 after taxes, making each item only around $25 (I did have a first-time customer discount on top of the sale prices). This just goes to show how sustainable fashion brands don’t have to be significantly more expensive than conventional brands if you wait for good sales.
Of course, the downside is that sales tend to be final sale, meaning there are no returns or exchanges. You’ll definitely want to read the reviews carefully before making a purchase.
These items were all around 50% off, so they would’ve been $50-60 if they weren’t on sale, which is still a good price for more consciously-made clothing. They do have pricier items, but it makes sense for what it is (like outerwear).
For reference, I’m 5’4″, 125-130lbs, 28.5-29″ waist, and 36″ hip.
I had some challenges with sizing since I read some reviews that said the activewear tended to run small. I was especially worried about the InMotion Longline Active Bra, as I’d purchased a similar style tank bra from another brand and it was super tight even though I have a small chest.
In my first order, I got a sports bra, bike shorts, and 7/8 leggings in size M (plus some shirts for my brother). Everything ended up being too loose. The bike shorts and leggings fit, but weren’t as compressive as I’m used to. I gave the leggings to my mom. I still have the bike shorts and bra and am selling them on my Poshmark and Mercari (you can get $10 with those referral links if you haven’t signed up yet!).
The second time around, I got two sports bras, the same bike shorts, and high rise leggings in size S (plus another shirt for my brother). Everything fit much better.
The bottoms were just the right amount of compressive. The full length leggings were a couple inches too long for me, but I liked how they fit around the ankles compared to the 7/8 ones (not tight enough since the openings are supposed to be higher up on the leg).
I did miss the roomy side pockets on the 7/8 leggings though—the high rise leggings do have a pocket on the back of the waistband, but it’s not as convenient and it barely fits my phone (Google Pixel 6).
The bras fit well, though I felt that the Longline active bra was now a little tight around the chest/waist band. This may just be an issue with the longer style hitting closer to the waist since I felt that the Double scoop bra fit fine.
I will say that there is a pretty large gap between sizes S and M. The waistband of the bottoms for size M was 13″, while it was 12″ for size S. For the Longline active bra, the band was 13.5″ for size M and 12.5″ for size S. Overall, the activewear felt true to size though and I would recommend following the size charts.
For my brother, he got his usual size in his shirts (M), and they fit true to size. He said he really likes the fabric of the shirts as they feel soft and high-quality.
After a few months of wear, I’ve been happy with the quality of my Tentree items. The InMotion activewear is soft, breathable, and stretchy. It’s actually probably the most comfortable activewear material I’ve owned.
The downside of this smooth and stretchy material is that it tends to show panty lines more than other materials. It’s not super noticeable, especially since I got the darker sea green color, but I’d recommend getting an even darker color if you want to avoid panty lines at all costs. (They’re kind of a given for me with non-black activewear since I like full-coverage “granny panties” and refuse to wear thongs haha).
Another reason to get darker colors is that sweat will show up on the material. I ended up with huge triangle of sweat on my butt after a run.
While I’m overall happy with the quality of my Tentree activewear, I did have a weird experience with pilling on my bike shorts. After only a couple wears, they came out pilled after a round in the dryer. It wasn’t super noticeable from afar, but it was very noticeable up close.
Strangely, the Longline bra came out fine even though it’s made of the same material. I’ve never had this happen to my activewear before, so I was baffled. I do remember seeing one other review where they said this happened as well, so it could’ve been a manufacturing defect.
Luckily, the customer service was great, so I was able to get a free replacement, and I’ve avoided drying my Tentree activewear since and haven’t had this issue. (I usually don’t dry activewear anyways, but things have been a little different since I’ve been living with my family and everything gets thrown into the laundry together).
As I mentioned, the customer service at Tentree is great. When I emailed about my shorts pilling, they just asked me to send a few photos and then offered to send a replacement. I was able to get a smaller size as well.
They told me not to send the shorts back to reduce carbon emissions; I could simply donate the shorts or recycle them through their circularity program.
I requested store credit instead of a replacement since I was planning to make a separate order and wanted to make free shipping. They were happy to offer that instead.
Because of a error, I ended up getting the replacement pair along with the replacement I’d ordered myself with credit. They again told me not to send the extra shorts back, so I gave them to a friend.
Overall, I found Tentree’s customer service very responsive and helpful. I got responses within the same day, and sometimes within 15 minutes of my email.
The Bottom Line
Holistically, Tentree is a pretty awesome brand. They’re circular, more affordable, and have responsible manufacturing. They’re not perfect, but I feel comfortable recommending them based on my research and my experience buying from them.
If you were thinking of getting something from them, it would mean a lot if you used my affiliate link.
Feel free to leave me any questions in the comments and share your own experiences! Also check out my ethical brand directory for more sustainable brand recs.