Treen is a sustainable fashion brand based in Edinburgh that creates a selection of vegan, sustainable and ethical womenswear, menswear and lifestyle. We talked with Treen to hear about how their killer clothing are making a positive impact on the environment and more about how Treen got started.
- What makes your products special? (What do your customers love about your products?)
Style and values combined! We work hard to bring our customers the best balance of curated, stylish and directional fashion that has a positive impact on the environment as standard. Giving them the opportunity to shop in our store knowing that they can choose the best pieces for their personal style and interest first, and it be a given that all the products are fair, sustainable and cruelty free is what we are all about - we don’t think you should have to compromise on either.
- When did this organization start?
Treen was founded in 2018 by Cat Anderson, opening doors on its first pop-up store in June 2019 and launching online with worldwide shipping. We have since grown through two more pop-ups and recently opened our custom designed flagship store in central Edinburgh.
- How was this social enterprise started? (Did you start it after college, from a hobby, etc.)
As a fashion graduate with over 8 years experience in the retail and fashion industry, Cat founded Treen as a kinder alternative to the often damaging mainstream fashion retailer. Her transition to a vegan lifestyle in 2015 prompted her not only to reassess what she was eating, but what she was wearing. Treen was born after she struggled to upgrade her wardrobe to match her values, and now we proudly stock over 40 sustainable, ethically produced and vegan brands.
- What is your social mission?
To provide incredible fashion to the conscious shopper! A killer wardrobe without killing the planet.
- Where do you sell your products? (Online, retail stores, markets, etc.)
All our products are sold in both our physical retail store in a popular neighbourhood in Edinburgh in good company of many proud independents, online and on our social channels.
- What is a recent exciting success? (New launch, goal reached, press coverage, etc.)
Throughout the challenges of the ongoing pandemic we have been proud to keep looking ahead. We worked closely with a local design agency here to create a more environmentally friendly store using sustainable materials and low impact services. And to have grown our small team in the past six months has been a highlight! Grateful for all the support we have received to make this possible.
- Who are your biggest influences?
Influenced by brands big and small, from Stella McCartney to our very own roster of sustainable brands; Kowtow always comes up with incredibly forward thinking designs, Thinking Mu for innovative materials and low impact processes to make their pieces, Good News for their socially impactful sneakers, and Wolf Circus for their all female-run and crafted jewellery.
- Why did you start your organization?
To give an alternative to those who want to make a different, more positive choice. And to make it easy - it shouldn’t be difficult to find like minded brands, makers and fellow customers.
- What other social enterprises do you admire?
We truly admire all businesses putting the planet and people over profits, especially since running a company or charity is so consuming. Some of our most loved platforms include Good On You - an independent rating system that verifies and produces reports on the impact of brands (some bad, some good!), Smart Works - a UK based charity that helps get women in need back into work after a difficult time by providing interview clothing, support and training, and our locally impactful Social Bite - a movement that works to end homelessness in Scotland.
- What is the best advice you have ever received?
Do what makes you happy! I’m very lucky to have parents who made this clear and never forced me or my siblings into anything. They wanted us to find out what felt right for us on our own.
- What advice do you give someone wanting to start a social enterprise?
Brand, charity, enterprise or otherwise - doing what you love drives everything forward, but having a team around you that you can trust truly makes it all happen. Find the right people to suit your cause by focusing on shared values- everything we’ve built Treen on.
You can follow Treen on Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter @shoptreen_! And Facebook @shoptreen. You can shop their products on their online store here: https://shoptreen.com/
Sign up to their mailing list on their site to get 10% off your first order with them! They ship worldwide.Written by Jane Diokpo