Our Story

What's in a name? 

The name Tembo is the Swahili word for elephant.  One of our founders, Matt Fudge (yes, that is his real name) was on a climbing trip through East Africa when he came across the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust project, whose mission is the conservation of orphaned elephants and rhinos. 
We believe innovation and entrepreneurship is the greatest vehicle for change.  If businesses act responsibly and become stewards of the earth, their customers can support this and be a part of it.  As climbers, we know climbers and that being stewards of the outdoors is kind of our thing.   
Why chalk? 

As a gymnast, then a climber, Matt has been using chalk and hanging on for dear life since practically day 1.  A healthy obsession with chalk led to way too much knowledge to not turn it into a business.   In our research, we discovered that just about all commercially available climbing chalk was being sourced from China in some very questionable conditions both for the planet and the local labour used to manufacture it.  This didn't sit well with us so we made it our mission to find a better source.  What we came up with, was the chalk we are selling today.  It is ethically produced and meets strict ISO 9000 quality standards and ISO 14000 environmental standards.  The side benefit is that it is by far,  the best climbing chalk you've ever tried. 
We also felt that there is just too much plastic packaging in the world so you will find our chalk comes in paper bags made from recycled material and are 100% biodegradable.  Tembo is new to the chalk game - we, uh, are still packing chalk in Steve's basement - but are growing quickly. 

If you'd like to try the best chalk you've ever used, be confident that what you are using is ethically sourced, helps to support an incredible conservation effort, and all for a great price - come check us out, we'd really appreciate it!