Project image
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$68,804
pledged of 100.000 $pledged of 100.000 $ goal
166
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 16 2014
TreeSleeveBy TreeSleeve
First created
TreeSleeveBy TreeSleeve
First created
$68,804
pledged of 100.000 $pledged of 100.000 $ goal
166
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 16 2014

About

The Beginning
In January 2013, Ray sat in a local coffee shop where he noticed a trashcan filled with paper coffee sleeves. At first he didn’t pay it any mind; the barista came around, emptied it, and that was it. A few hours later he noticed the trashcan was again filled to the brim. On his way out Ray asked the barista how many coffee sleeves they throw out each day. Her answer was astounding: over 300

Ray quickly began to research, and started crunching numbers. He found that these products alone result in millions of trees being cut down each year. Ray decided he had to find a way to turn a product typically viewed as a vehicle of waste into a vehicle of good. So Ray set out to design an alternative coffee sleeve that was superior to its paper counterpart in overall performance and environmental impact.

Prototype #1: The Temperature Controlled Coffee Sleeve
Ray's first design was a temperature controlled coffee sleeve. He wanted people to reuse coffee sleeves to reduce waste. Most would agree that coffee is best enjoyed hot, and therefore, a sleeve that could control coffee temperature would be highly attractive. Ray created a prototype using reflective heat-insulating foil. However, Ray's market research quickly showed that although people were excited about the product, the  cost would prevent it from gaining widespread popularity.  Ray had to go back to the drawing board.

Prototype #1: The Temperature Controlled Coffee Sleeve
Prototype #1: The Temperature Controlled Coffee Sleeve

Prototype #2: The Reusable TreeSleeve
Ray learned that customers wanted a product that would have an impact on the environment, but would not break the bank. So, Ray replaced the heat controlled sleeve with 100% recycled silicone. Since paper coffee sleeve production results in millions of trees being cut down annually, Ray decided that for every TreeSleeve sold, he would plant a tree in a deforested part of the world. And that is when the product got it's name; TreeSleeve. 

Prototype #2: 100% Recycled Silicone TreeSleeve
Prototype #2: 100% Recycled Silicone TreeSleeve

Product Test
Ray's first product test began in August 2013. Investing the little money he had into a small inventory run, he filled up his car with TreeSleeves and traveled all over Connecticut telling coffee shop owners his story. In order to pay the bills he took up odd jobs: from working on an assembly line in a saw factory to stocking shelves for WalMart. Night jobs, though not glamorous, enabled Ray to devote his days to TreeSleeve. In time, things soon started to pay off.

Within four months, TreeSleeve could be found in 30+ coffee shops in the Tri-State area and over 2,000 trees were planted across the globe. Throughout the product testing Ray had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of coffee shops owners and patrons. He found that even though sales were steady, customers were not reusing their TreeSleeves on a daily basis the way he envisioned, simply because they had forgotten. 

The Transition
At that point Ray traveled to NYC to meet with his good friend Kate to get her perspective. Kate asserted that a reusable TreeSleeve was not the way to go. She told him, "Ray, I can barely remember my keys in the morning, let alone a reusable coffee sleeve."  She challenged Ray to design a single use TreeSleeve that could directly compete with the paper coffee sleeve. It would have to be 100% treeless, 100% compostable, retain more heat, enable the planting of trees, and be economical enough that coffee shop owners would be willing to carry as an alternative to the regular paper sleeve. With that, Kate and Ray  joined forces, and Kate became TreeSleeve's Chief Operations Officer. 

The final path to our current product
Together they explored dozens of material options. They finally decided that sugarcane was the perfect material. Not only was it 100% compostable, but they were also able to work with manufacturers in Brazil to develop a method to effectively convert sugarcane waste into fiberboard-- meaning no new trees or wildlife needed to be cut down to produce the product. Sugarcane waste is typically burned as a form of waste management, resulting in high CO2 emissions. However, at TreeSleeve we source the waste from developing nations around the world and transform the remnants into fiberboard, then used to create our product.

With the perfect raw material in hand, the duo now had the opportunity to create prototypes.

Air Circulation
Paper coffee sleeves are difficult to compost due to the fact they typically fold flat, creating a thick, layered surface with no room for air circulation, an essential ingredient in composting. TreeSleeves feature EarthGrooves, ridges along the top diameter of the sleeve that promote entanglement of the TreeSleeve with surrounding debris. This forces the EarthGrooves to bend in different directions, causing the sleeve to enter the compost pile in a semi crushed state. This provides more surface area for microorganisms and increases air circulation, accelerating the composting process.

EarthGrooves
EarthGrooves

Feeding the Earth
Another fault that we found with paper coffee sleeves is that they are high in carbon. Composting requires a balance of carbon and nitrogen to be successful. However, the ratio is usually nitrogen deficient due to its lack of presence in paper product. However, TreeSleeve  contains what we like to call, EarthFruit, a naturally occurring nitrogen rich enzyme which allows our sleeves to retain more nitrogen than any other sleeve on the market. When a TreeSleeve deteriorates in a compost pile, EarthFruit fertilizes the soil with nitrogen, helping to accelerate and improve the soil’s composting performance. 

The Design
With functionality and design in mind, the team realized they needed someone with an eye for pixel perfect design. Kate enlisted Sarah-- a close friend and very talented designer to join the TreeSleeve team as Creative Director. As Creative Director, Sarah helped to re-brand the company and came up with a new product design with a focus on functionality. 

TreeSleeve
TreeSleeve

Universal Impact
By mid March the team knew that they had  found a superior solution to paper sleeves that would help make this world a better place. 

In talking with partner Tree Planters, the team found that if TreeSleeve was able to replace paper coffee sleeves in just 1,000 coffee shops they’d be able to reforest entire communities at an astonishing rate. However, to do this we need your support....

Production Plan:

  • May 22 – Complete Kickstarter
  • June 1st – Place order for upcycled sugarcane
  • July 1st – Begin manufacturing TreeSleeves
  • August 1st – TreeSleeves available in stores

Video Credits:Creative Direction/Co-producing: Sarah Butler (www.sarahbutlerstudios.com)
Video Editing/Director of Photography: Collin Kornfeind (www.collinkornfeind.com)Original Music and Mixing: Tripp Kramer (www.soundcloud.com/trippkramer)Animation: Adam Ansorge (www.adamansorge.com)Sound: Mike Wally (www.mikewallachfilm.com)Camera/Gaffer: Eric YoonStill Photography: Colby Blount Photography (www.cblountphotography.com)

Special thanks to the above and also:

Risks and challenges

Up until this point, we have been entirely self-funded. In order to complete our first mass production run of the single use TreeSleeve to meet the demand of coffee shops we need a lot of start up capital. We need $100,000 for raw material, manufacturing, and design.

We have some of the top manufacturers in the world on our team as well as a team of tree planters ready to act. However, we cannot move forward without your help.

When you support this Kickstarter Campaign, a sample kit of TreeSleeves will be sent to your favorite coffee shop enabling local patrons to experience the top quality coffee sleeves available today, and give back to the environment. If the Kickstarter goal is met, you will have contributed to the reforestation an entire village!

Thank you for your consideration! Please feel free to contact us at treesleeve@yahoo.com with any questions.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    A personalized thank you note from the TreeSleeve team + a basket of TreeSleeves to use at your favorite local coffee shop + a special edition TreeSleeve vinyl sticker to proudly display + special project updates to keep you in the know!

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    All of the above + a bag of TreeSleeve inspired "Bolivian Happy Life Coffee" to brew at home and well...make your mornings all the more happy!

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    16 backers
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    All of the above + a tin of delicious limited edition TreeSleeve cookies to enjoy with your favorite coffee!

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    22 backers
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    All the above + a trendy TreeSleeve tee perfect for sporting around town!

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    5 backers
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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    All the above + an awesome TreeSleeve Tumbler to always carry your favorite hot or cold beverage!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 750 or more About US$ 750

    All the above + A tree planted in your name! Now how cool is that?

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    2 backers
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    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    All the above + an exclusive invite to our official launch party!

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    All of the above + A weekend trip to NYC and dinner with the TreeSleeve executive team as well as board member Steve Heyer (ex President of Coca-Cola & Starwood Hotels)!

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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    All of the above + a spot on our trip to Madagascar to film our first documentary about deforestation across the world. You know you want to come...

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Funding period

- (30 days)