Why change product stories?

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© TFT

Every product comes with a story.

Once we buy a product, its story becomes part of our story.

Yet as pointed out in the film The Story of Stuff, we often fail to see how ugly and destructive the stories of many of these products actually are. We simply don’t know where our “stuff” comes from and the impact it has on our planet and people living on the other side of the world.

Supermarket shelves are for example filled with items containing palm oil which all too often comes from plantations carved out of rainforests. Similarly, rainforests are burned down and turned into grazing land for cattle that supply meat for our restaurants and leather for our shoes.

As rainforests both store vast quantities of carbon and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, their destruction accelerates global warming twofold.

So regardless of where we live, our buying actions either help our planet or contribute to its destruction. They either improve the story of our planet or make it worse.  Yet we don’t need to stop buying products to help write a better story for our planet.

What we need is to have more respect and understanding of where our products come from. In our own self interest as consumers or businessmen, we need to start taking responsibility for the story of the products we buy. We need to make sure these stories truly benefit the people and the environment that were part of their creation. In a way it’s the most self-centred thing we can do because our own personal survival depends on those stories. So come on everyone, let’s be selfish! But being truly selfish means taking responsibility for our products because by doing so we are respecting and taking responsibility for our own lives.

At TFT we uncover and transform product stories. We work with businesses, retailers and communities at every stage of the supply chain in the forests, farms, mills, factories and stores, in order to increase awareness and the availability of Responsible Products - products that respect the earth and its inhabitants.

But we need your help to motivate more businesses and retailers to care where the products they sell come from. There are many things you can do to make a difference – from finding out about product stories to supporting TFT projects. You can also stay informed by subscribing to TFT’s newsletter or joining TFT on Facebook.