There are three things that are certain in a person’s life: death, taxes, and the possession of at least one race t-shirt.
And who needs these things? The T-shirts, we mean. Not death and taxes (though they’re kind of annoying as well). Garish in colour and covered in advertising, few of us will have received a race t-shirt that we actually felt fortunate to have. That synthetic material stinks right away and remains stinky forever after. Then there’s the bigger problem and that’s the impact these plastic-based monstrosities have on the environment.
So we like the sound of this new organisation set up by fell runner Jim Mann, someone who has graced many a podium at UK mountain races.
I have been refusing race t-shirts for several years as I have loads and they don’t wear out. It worries me how wasteful they are. Today we have begun to do something about it. Please support out campaign for less T-shirts and more trees! https://t.co/CSMCfZTlUV #treesnottees
— Jim Mann (@jimmann23) February 19, 2020
The idea behind his Trees Not Tees project is to provide sports events with the ability to offer their participants the option of planting a tree, rather than a crappy t-shirt.
A race director can simply add a tick box next to the t-shirt sizing selection on their entry form which says, “I don’t need another T-shirt – please plant a tree for me instead”.
The planting all goes on in Scotland where the Trees Not Tees are “on a mission to reforest”. Participants who opt in for a tree will get a PDF with a picture of it, details about its species and a unique What3Words geo-location so people can seek their sapling out.
Within 12 hours of its launch, Trees Not Tees picked up its first partner in Centurion Running Events.
Here’s what people had to say on Twitter about the news of its launch…
Excellent Jim! Have seen this as an option @lakelandtrails are now offering for 2020.
Fully on board with this. I’ve had tech tees so heavily printed that they’re no longer breathable.
We like this, we have been giving people the option of a race tshirt or not since we started. A tree instead would be a good alternative.
I didn’t enter a race at the start of this year as there wasn’t an option of opting out from the T-shirt. Some friends thought it OTT. Maybe it was but great to see such rapid awareness of alternatives coming to the market.
Find out more at treesnotees.com