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Illustrating National Geographic: Meet The Artist

From chameleons to flamingos, learn how our in-house illustrator brought the National Geographic archives to life.

Earth is our home, and there’s no place like it. From its immense waterways and weather systems down to its mangroves and mosquito fish — this planet provides valuable food and shelter to a countless number of species in so many unique and important ways. With the common goal to protect our home planet, we’ve joined forces with National Geographic for a new limited edition collection that plants ten trees for every item sold.

For every tree planted, there are dozens of species that benefit from the food and shelter it helps provide. Inspired by iconic photography sourced from the National Geographic archives each plant and animal featured in this collection is one that thrives in the ecosystem you’ve helped restore.

These beautiful designs were all hand painted by our in-house illustrator Nicole and we caught up with her to get a behind-the-scenes look at how she and the team brought these animals to life for the collection.


Q: Could you tell us a little bit about the art direction behind the collection?

Around the world, animals depend on trees for food, water, shelter, a place to raise young, hunt, and so much more. We really wanted to shine a light on some of the amazing creatures that rely on trees for this campaign. The ones you’ll find featured in this collection serve as an important reminder that when we plant trees and take care of the earth’s ecosystems, it positively impacts wildlife and is key to their survival.


Q: How did you choose which archive images to bring to life for this collection?

We wanted to explore a diverse range of wildlife, so we chose animals that travel across land, sea and air. It was really fun looking through the National Geographic archives and finding images for each species we chose, including the panther chameleon, the mangrove snapper, the greater flamingo, the great blue heron and the red panda.


national geographic x tentree

Featured: Kids Chameleon Crewneck


Q: Were there any challenges when it came to painting these images by hand? How long did the process take?

I used gouache inks to paint the images we chose, and each one took approximately a day to complete. The challenge with painting in such detail was translating it onto the garments. We managed to keep the integrity of the paintings, and the colours kept their vibrancy! We certainly put the factory through their paces, but we’re so happy with the end result.



Q: What image is your favourite illustration from the collection?

I love the image of the gray snappers mixed with other fish species. It was really fun to paint with such vibrant colours, and I love that the end result looks like a snapshot from the sea.


national geographic x tentree

Featured: Ungendered Mangrove Snapper Longsleeve


The mangrove snapper (as the name implies) relies on the mangrove tree, and I really enjoyed researching them for this collection. They make up some of the most productive and biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet! What’s more, mangroves act as more than just a home for animals; they provide water filtration, coastal protection, and sequester three to five times more carbon than a tropical upland forest.


From snappers and chameleons to herons and flamingos, these images remind us that there are countless species that benefit from the trees you help plant. In addition to planting trees, this collection also helps reduce the harmful impact of the apparel industry. Each piece is made with only the softest, most sustainably-minded materials available, like 100% organic cotton, recycled polyester and TENCEL™ lyocell.

Shop the tentree x National Geographic Collection today.


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National Geographic x tentree: This is Home


By planting ten trees for every item you purchase, it’s our mission to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. Head to our website to learn more and begin your planting journey with 10% off.


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