Sleeves For Trees

Local Entrepreneur, WashU alumnus David Dresner

Spreads Sustainability Message with Washington University Tree Plantings


Owner of Sleeve a Message and Wash U Alum gives back to campus

According to the Nature Conservancy, “approximately 41 million trees are cut down every day—far faster than we are currently replanting them. The consequences of deforestation and other types of land degradation are severe, exacerbating climate change, biodiversity loss, and declines in ecosystem services that hundreds of millions of people depend on.”

This prompted St. Louis entrepreneur David Dresner to make sustainability a pillar in his business model for Sleeve a Message, a custom coffee sleeve business.

On Thursday, October 25, Sleeve a Message (in partnership with Washington University)installed approximately 60 trees and plants during its 5thannual Tree Planting Event. This event took place behind the Whittemore House, 6440 Forsyth Blvd., where an invasive honeysuckle was removed earlier this summer.

Sleeve a Message was incubated out of Washington University, where Dresner was attending the Olin Business School. Since its inception, David Dresner designed Sleeve a Message to be a forward-thinking and environmentally responsible company.Sleeve a Message has a dynamic sustainable sleeve program that is composed of two parts. The first is making sure to use the greenest material possible. All of Sleeve a Message’s products are 100% recyclable, made from 90% post-consumer materials and use only water-based inks. Part-two relies on a partnership with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri that states for every 7,000 sleeves sold, a tree is planted in a distressed U.S. community. As of November 2017, there were 20,000 trees planted on behalf of the company. Earlier this year, the company was also able to reduce its waste by 50 percent.

“The health of our environment impacts every single one of us,” says Dresner. “As a business owner, I’ve been given a unique platform to educate and lead our community in the march towards sustainability and a healthier planet. I’m extremely humbled to have another opportunity to give back to my alma matter in a way that can be enjoyed for many years to come.”

Sleeve a Message, in partnership with Washington University students, staff, faculty, Bon Appetit Management Company, WUSTL Dining Services, and Focal Pointe, will be planting Carolina Buckthorn, Eastern Wahoo, American Hazelnut, Green Giant Arborvitae, and Dragon Lady Holly. This is part of a larger ongoing and multi-year Campus Wide Landscape Restoration Project to remove all Invasive Honeysuckle and restore these landscape areas with Native and Adaptable Plants. Forest ReLeaf will be providing the Native Trees and Shrubs for the project.

Washington University has set the specific goal to increase its campus tree canopy from the current 16% to a 30% canopy by the year 2030. Sleeve a Message has planted just shy of 200 trees to date during the annual Tree Planting event.

“We’re proud to partner with David and Sleeve a Message in their strive for a sustainable and healthy planet. These small steps can have such a powerful impact and it’s great to see David working so hard for our community,” says April Powell, General Manager of Washington University Dining Services (Bon Appetit Management Company).

For more information on Sleeve a Message’s sustainability efforts, please go to


About Sleeve A Message:

Sleeve a Message was born out of a South City St. Louis basement. David Dresner launched the company after building a custom coffee sleeve printer named “RumpleSleeveSkin.” Sleeve a Message currently works with more than 11,000 clients around the world and is committed to social change through its sustainable business practices. David graduated from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

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