From little things, big things grow

Published 4:00pm 16 August 2023

From little things, big things grow
Words by Kylie Knight

Sebastian Onate-Henriquez is on a mission to save the world, one tree at a time.

The eight-year-old from Newport has created a business, The Earth is my Place, which sells sustainable T-shirts and other products. He funds or plants a tree for every item sold.

While some might wonder if the venture truly was his idea, chatting with the passionate and intelligent youngster quickly erases any doubt.

Sebastian first wanted to do something to make a difference as a five-year-old, launching his business one year later with the support of his parents Andrea and Cesar.

He created designs with an environmental theme, using his own drawings which are then transferred on to eco-friendly T-shirts sourced from the US. The shirts are made from organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles.

“It all started when I was setting up a small presentation for my class about how to take care of the world and then I started realising that we need to take care of the world which is in danger because we have pollution,” Sebastian explains.

|“I thought that I could spread a message that I wanted to express, so I decided to spread it by my T-shirts. My message is that we need to help take care of the planet because if we don’t, it will be in more danger.”|

Sebastian has been selling children’s T-shirts online for the past two years, opening a stall at Redcliffe Markets just a few months after moving to Newport from Sydney late last year.

From little things, big things grow

How it works

Sebastian donates money from each sale to an organisation called Trees for the Future, which plants trees in Africa and hires locals to help ease poverty in some communities.

“This helps to clean the air but also to give money to the people that live there, giving them jobs. They sometimes plant fruit trees so that is also food for communities,” Andrea explains.

She says Sebastian has donated enough for almost 300 trees and also plants trees himself, closer to home, on National Tree Day and special occasions including his birthday.

|“Even if he’s not selling, he’s planting trees because his idea is to plant 1000 trees. That’s his goal,” Andrea says.|

“It’s really fun,” Sebastian adds.

The youngster is expanding his product range to include mugs, jumpers and tote bags and will soon have adult-sized T-shirts and hats.

At six years old, Sebastian won a national competition for young entrepreneurs (2021 winner Entrepreneurship category, Edstart Achievement Award Program), and at seven years old, he achieved an even greater feat by winning a second competition (Westpac Youth Impact Challenge).

To find out more, visit his stall at Redcliffe Markets or head to the website or follow The Earth is My Place on Instagram

From little things, big things grow

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