Connecting Sentiment With Sustainability: Founder of Stories Behind Things Celebrates The Stories Behind What We Consume
A leader and educator on sustainability and consumption in the fashion world and industries alike, we chat to Jemma Finch about radical transparency, her curated online store, and her great-grandmother's ring.
What made you want to start SBT?
Stories Behind Things started as a creative outlet after leaving university. I set up a social media platform with the purpose of simply celebrating the story behind the things we consume and use on a daily basis. This included sharing why I adored certain pieces in my wardrobe, through to the daily items we use each day without thinking, such as coffee cups and jewellery. I found connecting the emotive story to what we consume a mindful act and still remains at the core of the Stories Behind Things mission today.
You started as a storytelling platform, educating on sustainability, and now you also have your own curated store selling a variety of products with the SBT stamp of approval - was that always the long-term plan?
For the past 2 years, Stories Behind Things was centred solely around engaging and educating our audience on how to live more in line with their values. We achieved this through a range of content partnerships, London-based events such as workshops, and our headline clothes switching series The Big Clothes Switch. During lockdown, our audience started to engage heavily in asking how they can spend more mindfully, and our suggestions on what brands prioritise people and the planet, and that’s where the online store was born! We launched this new venture during lockdown, and now curate over 50 brands that are prioritising both people and the planet.
What changes do you think can be made in the world of fashion toward becoming a more sustainable industry?
Radical transparency is what we are missing from the industry. With greenwashing still sending consumers into a spin, we need to regain the trust in communication between brands and consumers. If brands can clearly demonstrate where and how their products are made, they can build trust and accountability for any mistakes or progress made along the way.
What object do you own that has the best story behind it?
A ring I always wear that was my mum's grandmother's. I never met her but I wear it each day and it makes me feel grounded!
What do you look for in the products you buy personally?
Classic shapes, often neutral colours for long-term items that I’m investing in. I love the feeling of buying an item that I know will last a lifetime, and when it comes to the end of its lifespan with me, that I’ll want to pass on to a friend or family member.
Favourite place to stop for a bite to eat..
Stoney Street by 26 Grains, Borough Market.
Best vintage store in London..
Oxfam in Westborne Grove.
Go-to recipe to cook at a dinner party?
A great book you’ve read recently...
Who Cares by Lily Cole
One rule to live by?
Remembering your daily positive actions lead to greater change