We reviewed Tentree’s new fully compostable fall jacket.

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Every time I see a new item of clothing marked as “durable” the red lights in my head will start blinking. I wish it didn’t, because any brand trying to at least try to change the status quo – which starts with a dangerous and polluting factory halfway around the world and ends (not very long after) in a landfill near from home – should be commended, especially since many businesses and customers don’t really seem to care. But the truth is, “sustainability” doesn’t mean anything anymore.

So imagine my surprise when the fall fashion season brought this eco-friendly glove to the InsideHook HQ desk: “The first fully biodegradable unisex jacket made from all compostable materials.

The garment in question is the Treeline Canvas Jacket by Tentree. If you’ve never heard of the Canadian company before, it has been around for ten years and takes its name from its core mission of planting 10 trees for every item purchased. To date, the brand claims to have planted over 66 million with a target of 1 billion by 2030. What caught my attention weren’t necessarily the tree-planting promises or the inspiring story (they are. even appeared on The dragon’s lair, the Canadian precursor of Shark aquarium), but the company makes this claim about the jacket on their website: “Once you’re done loving it, remove and recycle the screw buttons, and ground your jacket again.” ”

“Return to earth”? Truly? If that sounds like hyperbole, here’s what Natasja Parlee, Senior Designer at Tentree, told me when I emailed her the question.

“In an ideal world, this jacket has a long lifespan because it’s built to last. When the first owner is ready to part with the jacket, we recommend that you put it back on so that this pre-loved item can be worn again, ”she wrote. “If it is ready to be returned to earth, all the shank buttons can be unscrewed and reused or recycled. The jacket can be placed in your compost bin, green bin, or you can dig a hole in your yard, bury it, cover it with soil, and plant a tree in it.

That’s right, Tentree wants you to bury their jacket. Well, maybe not you, but your kids or your grandkids, after you beat the shit out of that cotton and kapok diaper. (More on what that is in a second.)

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to scare my neighbors by digging my garden and burying my clothes, but I got my hands on a Treeline jacket to understand what a compostable jacket looks like on a daily basis and if it holds the cut. against all the non-compostable foods in your closet, then ask Parlee any questions that surely popped in your head like they did in mine.

Flannel lining: checked. Removable buttons: also check.

Tempted

First of all, style and functionality. Fox Trot Brown and Olive Night Green, the latter I wear, are everything you would expect from sturdy fall outerwear, with a complementary flannel lining that is both super soft and super warm. (Believe me, I live in Minnesota.) The superior mesh is due to a blend of kapok and cotton batting insulation, with kapok here being the name for the fiber derived from the non-food fruit of kapoks. Rod buttons are definitely beefier and clunkier than you’re used to, but it’s a small price to pay for being the only trim you would need to take off before getting rid of an item of clothing. .

One item that I personally don’t like is the fully flannel lined sleeves. That extra bulk makes it an ideal jacket to wear with a t-shirt, but less suitable for layering with my fall sweaters (mostly in lined jackets, the sleeves are lined with something more slippery). And the unisex design maybe let them down in terms of pocket size, as the hand pockets are smaller than what most men are used to.

As for his environmental credentials, they become crystal clear after getting a glimpse of Parlee. Tentree notes how much water, CO2, and waste is “saved” on product pages, but charts like these aren’t necessarily the best way to look at this as you know what saves water, CO2 and waste? Don’t buy something and just donate money to plant trees.

When it comes to kapok insulation, Parlee says the material was once a part of products like bedding and quilts, but has fallen out of favor due to the rise of synthetics. Here they worked with a company called Flocus to bring it back. But beyond that, the design team had to come up with a different canvas (a type of liner) that would hold the insulation together, as these are typically made at least in part from polyester; they settled on an organic cotton muslin. Even the water-resistant finish of the canvas exterior is plant-based and endorsed by Bluesign, a sustainable textiles watch group.

If that sounds like too much information for a $ 178 fall jacket, Tentree has made it for itself. They are the ones who claimed to offer a 99% compostable jacket without any official certification that it would in fact compost. As Parlee says, “A good biodegradability and compostability test takes between 6 and 12 months and costs between [$15,000 to $25,000]. “They decided to forgo this process, but they obviously got the receipts anyway, including on the tree planting front.

“In order to verify our impact, Tentree created a sister company, Veritree,” says Parlee. “We have to make sure that every tree is planted in the right place, that the survival rate is monitored and that the impact of the trees can be measured. “

Now there is only one thing left to do: take my jacket, bury it and report on the progress of composting in a year.

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