What drives us?

We measure ourselves against our 3 core principles:

  1. QUALITY FIRST: Ethically manufacture everyday essentials, using the highest quality natural fibers and pioneering a purposeful design.
  2. INTEGRITY AT ALL COSTS: Stop pretending that sustainability is about buying sustainable clothing.
  3. BE INNOVATIVE: Fully operational ethical supply chain where you direct a portion of our proceeds towards various segments of the supply chain. Whether it be organic natural fibers, or recycled fishing nets or incremental financial support for those who actually make your clothes. See more details below.

    But what drives us ... is the fact that "sustainability" is not a myth, but simply misunderstood. 

    Our desire to start a new brand was borne out of deep frustration with how brands, both established & emerging, promotes a narrow focus on sustainability, particularly in clothing manufacturing. 

    Furthermore, going from ethical (or sustainable) production to (almost) implying that we, as consumers, are somehow contributing to sustainability by purchasing sustainably produced clothes, was a bridge too far for us.

    Before we set out to launch a new brand, we talked to many of you, on the streets, in the malls. We also conducted numerous consumer surveys & focus groups. Two things became evident:

    A. Brands are climbing the wrong hill when it comes to sustainability

    We came to understand that while all sustainability focussed brands, whether established or upcoming, have good intentions. But, their approach to sustainability often inadvertently does more harm than good. It perpetuates a false sense of 'being sustainable ... subconsciously giving us a sense of 'meeting our sustainability goals'.

    Furthermore, we've come to realize that we are not environmental activists & we believe the same applies to you. However, we also don't subscribe to the commonly understood definition of sustainability. Perhaps we should use an alternative term for it (any suggestions?).

    For us, sustainability is synonymous with 'adaptation.' When circumstances change, we change—we adapt. And rather than looking at 'adaptation' as a means to deny any effects of human footprint. We realize that adaptation is an acknowledgement about the need for change. And, change comes when the proverbial crowd demands it.

    The essence of sustainability, the momentum for change, resides in the 'wisdom of the crowd.' It encompasses all the little things we do in our daily lives to ensure that tomorrow, our 'home,' is in better condition than it is today. The small actions taken by each of us, seemingly insignificant though they may be, collectively contribute to a significant impact.

    Have you ever chosen to walk instead of taking a car? Who enjoys a long leisurely drive, burning more gas, rushing to a soccer practice? Do you turn off the lights when they're not in use? If so, then read on.

    Now comes the question of whether we consistently do what we can and how often we share our experiences, discussing what qualifies as 'sustainable' with others. Since sharing is when we make our voices heard as a crowd.

    Although it might sound simple, following through on a consistent basis can be both arduous and monotonous.

    Monotony brings about a lack of motivation. We require motivation to stay committed to repetitive and tedious tasks, such as joining a running group, working with a private trainer at the gym, or even adhering to portioned food for weight loss.

    After careful consideration, we started small, with a simple idea of blending 'social objects' (refer to our FAQ for 'social objects') into a subtle yet powerful design artifacts that serves as a potent motivator. Additionally, it acts as a 'wingman' to break the ice, helping you share your personal sustainability efforts with friends and people around you. After a few months of observing the results of our small scale experiments, we knew this is the correct solution.

    Introducing, Treehopper, the first-ever brand to incorporate 'social objects' into a range of clothing designs: #SODA (Social Objects as Design Attributes).

    Don't forget to check out some of the reviews from our initial launch.

    B. Consumers want more than transparency

    And this is probably the most important insight we gained from our focus groups: when it comes to ethical manufacturing and transparency (think... #who-made-my-clothes campaigns or sharing manufacturer information), consumers are asking to have a say in how we, as a brand, reinvest in ethical manufacturing. What they are saying is that they want to 'actually make a difference' in the lives & working conditions of those who work along the entire supply chain. 

    All the programs we looked at and related organizations focussed on helping manufacturers improve working conditions along the supply chain are voluntary, with little standardization, their findings are open to interpretation and little to no accountability.

    We realized that without any type of enforcement mechanisms, these programs will always remain optional. For a problem as complex and widespread, enforcement via regulations is a pipe dream. We believe that appropriate incentives is the right way to go.

    So, we have created a custom blockchain solution, developing a platform that allows us to directly share a portion of our proceeds with those who work on creating your clothes. And it doesn't stop there – we are on a path to take our vision even further by the end of the year 2025. This is where your input truly matters, and your support translates into tangible benefits. Once it's live, you will be able to direct which segments of our ethical supply chain you want those proceeds to go towards. It will create a real impact for those involved in bringing these clothes to you.

    This is a tremendously complex issue, and we have made significant progress since the beginning of the year. There is much more to come, so stay tuned. Until then, we hope you will continue to support our endeavor.

    From our perspective, if we can make a difference in how we perceive sustainability and create a genuine impact by propelling the clothing industry toward self-sustainability, it would be a tremendous success!

    If not, in the worst-case scenario, you will still wear exceptional everyday essentials, ethically crafted with the highest quality organic cotton, for decades to come. We will also be incorporating more fibers in future.

    Look out for updates here and on our social media channels. You can also use our contact form if you have any questions or want to reach out with a word of encouragement. We are always open to dialogue.

    Until then, we hope to see you soon on our journey to commonsense sustainability.

    Go Treehoppers!!