Missy Tannen, BS’99 and Scott Tannen, BS’99: Ethical Luxury

Missy&Scott-TannenA simple quest for new sheets a few years ago led to the creation of an international luxury brand—Boll & Branch—a company as well-known for its ethical practices and philanthropy as it is for the quality of its products.

Boll & Branch is the brainchild of Missy and Scott Tannen. The company sells bed linens directly to consumers, cutting out retail stores and their high prices. The Tannens also donate around 10 percent of their proceeds to Not for Sale, a charity helping victims of child trafficking—an all-too-common practice in the textile industry.

“When we started researching the textile industry, we began to uncover all the ills of the back end of the product that you never see,” says Missy. “There are child labor issues, unsafe working conditions, and often laborers are forced to work overtime.”

Ethical considerations were incorporated into the business plan from the start.

“We have proven that you can create luxury products in this category and not sacrifice the ethics for profitability,” says Scott. “Every product we sell covers the expenses of a child victim for an entire day. We’ve provided 9,300 nights of care so far. The more we sell, the more good comes from it.”

—CINDY THOMSEN


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