Months after Kendall Jenner faced criticism for launching a tequila brand, she's giving back to the Mexican state where it's made
Kendall Jennerappeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on Tuesday.
- She told the host she is "saving the planet" and giving back to Jalisco, Mexico, with her brand.
- Jenner has previously received backlash for her 818
Kendall Jenner told "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon that her tequila brand, 818, is sustainable and gives back to the community in Jalisco, Mexico.
After first announcing her brand in February 2021, Jenner received both praise and backlash from social-media users. Critics accused her of cultural appropriation because the model is not Mexican and tequila is an inherently Mexican product. Some also accused her of exploiting jimadores and profiting off of their work.
But Jenner told Fallon that it's "important" to her brand "to be friendly to the community."
"At our distillery, which I was just at the other day, we found a way to take the agave waste - the agave fibers and the water waste - and build this sustainable brick that we are actually donating back to the community of Jalisco," she said.
"We're donating them and building homes for people that need homes," Jenner added, mentioning the bricks are also being used to aid in the construction of a "half-built hospital" in the area.
Jenner said that she's made her brand more "friendly to the planet" than other tequila brands she's seen by partnering with the sustainability initiative, 1% For the Planet. "We donate 1% of our profit to planet-saving initiatives," she said.
Sustainability and community aid are two of the cornerstones Jenner told Fallon that her brand is built on. She said that before 818, in her efforts to "find new tequilas" her friends may not have known about, she couldn't find one for her generation.
"Something that was like approachable and aesthetically pleasing and socially aware and gender-neutral," she said.
Jenner also mentioned that one driving force behind her brand was that tequila is a male-dominated industry. Mexican tequilero Melly Barajas previously spoke with Insider about her own experience as one of few females in the space and about the role Jenner's gender may have played in the backlash she received.
"It happened to me in tequila," Barajas said. "I had to work and do things 100 times better than any man to get respect from the tequileros."
Representatives for 818 and Kendall Jenner did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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