How TFT changes product stories


© TFT/S.Lohri. Fieldwork in Cameroon

Why change product stories?

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 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.

For example, supermarket shelves are 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.

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.

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.

How TFT changes product stories

A product story is the history behind all of the things that come to be on the shelf in front of us so we can buy them.

Changing a product story starts at the very beginning with the raw materials that go into making it, how they are harvested and what impact this has on the surrounding people and environment.

These activities are all part of TFT’s work on the ground to deliver Responsible Products and change product stories; to ensure products respect the environment and improve peoples’ lives at all stages of the supply chain.

Everyone is part of the story including the producers and retailers putting products on the market to the consumers who are making the final choice to buy or not. TFT is helping everyone to write a new narrative for products so they can respect people and respect the environment. 

Here are some of the product stories that TFT projects are contributing to changing:

These are just some of the product stories that TFT is working to rewrite. See the full list of TFT projects.