A Tool For Change
Storytelling is everywhere in today’s world.
It is something that can make or break any brand.
But it is also a powerful tool with the potential of making a huge difference for the future of the planet.
The history of storytelling
Oral traditions of storytelling date back many thousands of years ago. Even visual depictions of stories are seen painted on the walls of caves from our ancestors. Within this, stories ingrain themselves into our very existence. Indeed, each and every story is embedded with instructions that guide us about the complexities of life. They contain and communicate norms and values, oftentimes without us even being aware of it.
Stories have such power they do not require that we do anything, be anything, or act in any way - they simply require our attention.
Photo via THE GUESTLIST
Why is storytelling so important?
In 2009, a journalist called Rob Walker wanted to find out if storytelling has an impact. He bought 200 items off E-bay, each for about $1 each - spending a total of $129. He then asked 200 writers to write a story about an object. After reposting the 200 items on E-bay, each with their own story, he wanted to see if there was any difference. What happened was profound. One object that was bought for 99c was sold, when the story was added, for $62,95 - an increase of 6,395% and, in total, the objects were all sold for $8,000! Although a single example, the Significant Objects Study tangibly demonstrates the power held within a story. This power, however, can be used in many ways.
Photo via Pixabay
Storytelling and brands
Do you remember the first time you were aware of a scandal involving a brand that you knew? Perhaps a revelation about their factory working conditions became public, or a questionable slogan on a t-shirt caused an upheaval. Did your opinion of the brand change after these events? Whether you were to continue buying from them in the future or not rested delicately in the balance of how they proceeded to handle the situation. More specifically, you would have been impacted by how they told and handled their story.
With the rapid spread of technology, social media and globalization, more and more brands have had different stories told about them - from multiple perspectives. Truths can no longer be hidden or brushed under the rug. As such, the fatigue of large corporations dominating industries for the sole benefit of their own profit-margins has been met by smaller-scale initiatives that place a higher value on integrity, ethics and the environment to mention a few. Consumers have become more and more aware of the impacts of their purchasing power, and the narratives around brands are changing.
The truth is that the stories that brands tell their customers can be the difference between religious consumer loyalty, and a wildfire spread of hatred and shut-down.
Photo via Geralt on Pixabay
Storytelling and sustainability
“Sustainability philosophers claim that we are at an impasse of stories, finding ourselves in a blank chapter between the old and the new. The old story, characterized by separation, technological dominance and human superiority over nature, is unfolding in an ecological crisis giving space for a new narrative defined by inter-being, cooperation and balance. It has been put forward that this crisis is climate change, a phenomenon that epitomizes the old, while holding the potential to act as a bridge to the new.” - Hendersson & Wamsler, 2019.
Within the impasse that we find ourselves in - either as consumers, producers, brands, industry professionals, or simply as someone who cares - what remains constant is the value that we place on things. Whether that is value on a profit margin solely, or if it is the value of truth and clear communication - these will influence the stories that we tell, how we perceive them and how we ultimately end up writing the next pages of the history of our Earth. Indeed, greenwashing and fake news could win a bigger profit margin in the shorter term, but the environmental impact of the atrocities at the underlying root of such a story weave themselves into far longer-term effects for all of humanity and the world at large.
Our success is determined by our sustainable growth within the fashion industry. We supply our customers with quality eco-fashion pieces, ensuring that each garment can be kept and restored to last a lifetime. In light of this, our New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 do not sway exorbitantly from our core values and actions that are already underway.
Photo via THE GUESTLIST
Each one of us, regardless of the role that we play in this puzzle of life, find ourselves at a crisis point in history. We have the ability to choose who and what we wish to give power to. We have everything that we need, as guests to this Earth, to be able to create a better future, with a more positive story, for all beings on this planet.