The Story Behind BT


My name is Grant Ainsworth and I am passionate about protecting the environment. Coming from a place like Juneau, Alaska, I realized the effects of climate change early on. Growing up not a five-minute walk from the retreating Mendenhall Glacier left an impact on me. Each summer, I would hike to the base of the glacier. But as the glacier retreated, the walk became longer and longer year after year. It was a devastating experience.


In 2015, I enrolled at the University of Portland as a freshman. I set my sights on a degree in Finance to ultimately become a Financial Advisor. I took mostly business classes, but I also took an environmental science class to fulfill my science requirement. That class ended up blowing my mind. We discussed how important it is to act against climate change fast or else the impacts become even worse.


I began volunteering with tree planting organizations around the Portland area. But around a year later, I began to have an entrepreneurial kick. I wanted to start something. But I knew that it was going to be something centered around helping the earth. So I used my experience from my business classes and my adoration for the earth.


I created Branching Threads in June of 2017 by putting a couple of t-shirts for sale on my newly created website. For the first four months, my only customers were friends and family. But over time, we have grown our customer base and our reach. We now offer hoodies, long-sleeve shirts, and will offer hats very soon. We also have planted over 18,700 trees to date and have shipped orders to 20 different states.


This is still new, and I still have a long way to go. I am hopeful and optimistic that Branching Threads, even with its humble beginnings, will continue to grow and spread awareness about the importance of making environmentally conscious decisions. I want people to wear our products as a reminder to fight climate change in their everyday lives while enjoying the bounty that earth has to offer. I will warn you, wearing Branching Threads will draw questions. But use those questions to guide their attention towards protecting our home.


Feel free to chat with me about any questions, suggestions, or feedback at ainswort19@up.edu.