Kendall Jenner Talks 818 Tequila Brand Initiatives: How She's Giving Back to the Community Where It's Produced

"Along with saving the planet, it's important for us to be friendly to the community as well," she said of Jalisco, Mexico during a Tonight Show appearance

Kendall Jenner 818 Tequila
Kendall Jenner . Photo: Kristin Callahan/Shutterstock

Kendall Jenner is giving back to the town where her 818 Tequila brand is made after drawing backlash.

In an effort to support the community in Jalisco, Mexico, Jenner, 26, revealed on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday that her company has discovered sustainable methods to benefit the town.

The model told host Jimmy Fallon that the goal of her tequila brand was always to be "something that was like approachable and aesthetically pleasing and socially aware and gender-neutral" and "friendly to the planet."

In May, shortly after 818 was launched, Jenner faced backlash due to an advertisement depicting her riding a horse through an agave farm wearing braided pigtails before raising a glass of her liquor with native farmers. Following its release, many on social media accused her of profiting off of and appropriating Mexican culture.

Speaking to Fallon, 46, the model said, "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."

"Along with saving the planet, it's important for us to be friendly to the community as well," she added.

The sustainable brick, Jenner revealed, is being donated to build "homes for people that need homes" and has already been used in the construction of a "half-built hospital" in the area.

Additionally, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians alum said 818 Tequila partnered with 1% For the Planet to "donate 1% of our profit to planet-saving initiatives."

Amid Jenner's criticism, some fans came to her defense, pointing out that male celebrities such as George Clooney and Dwayne Johnson have also released similar advertisements posing with agave farmers in Jalisco for the release of their own tequila brands in the past without similar complaints.

Kendal Jenner
Kendal Jenner. 818 Tequila

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The model, who ultimately disabled the comments under the photos from her advertisement video on her Instagram, has yet to directly address the backlash.

Jenner did, however, say during her appearance on the Tonight Show that a big motivator for her to get into the tequila industry was because she discovered it was a male-dominated industry and coming from a "female-dominating family," she wanted to break the mold.

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