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By Ewelina Pankowska

We often get used to the fact that we are so disconnected from the creators of our physical reality. We stop reading the whole story, the journey of the seed or element no longer interests us, and we skip to the very last page of the thick print to read about the happy ending. We indulge in the beauty and cover our floors and walls with only the nicest endings. I myself own many items like this. But how much do I really know about my couch? I know the shape, texture, colour, softness and the way it makes me feel when see it from afar, or become embraced by its padding. I do not know who or how many bent over to take a piece of earth for material, I do not know where all the pieces traveled to, I do not know how many hands worked to shape the design, I definitely do not know their names. It is actually close to impossible to learn whole story, the pages are scattered in a hundred different directions.

We have to use our creativity to make sense of the pages we do find, and our intuition for the rest of our decisions. Most products will not offer you a whole lot of information, but always remember that intuition is your superpower. Intuition is that gut feeling seeking wisdom, or better said, truth. We are natural truth seekers, we practice this skill everyday socially, when we build spaceships to the moon, and when we dust for dinosaur eggs, we just haven't yet applied it to our physical designed environment, at least not entirely. Understandably, the lives we lead makes it really hard to venture out for these seemingly meaningless pages but fortunately, new stories are always being told.

I promise to keep track of every page so you do not have to do any work. I will share my whole journey, including my thoughts, material sources, every hand on the team, all the designs that work or don't work, and even my physical garbage. It is your right to have all the information, the entire story, to make a conscious trade of your time (money) and support a product that aligns with your values. Currently I am a 1-woman operation juggling a lot so I may struggle posting information but I will answer any and all of your questions if you ask.

Just a reminder, values exist whether you acknowledge them or not. They are guided by your confidence and expressed by rage when you are hurt. We use our values to stay true to our deepest, wants, needs and desires - stay true to ourselves. They express our intuition. What are your values?

Although it doesn't appear so, consumers shape the products they consume. Each purchase in your lifetime defines your values, and in turn, these are values a business sees as important to you. With each purchase you please the business, and the business continues to please you with no change, there is a trusting relationship. However, what is trust? Trust is a sense of security or belief in reliability, truth, ability and strength that could be either learned from personal experience or expressed verbally by an already 'trusting' individual. It's a beautiful concept. "You could trust them", imagine those words flying to a crowd of people you have never met and instantly take away all the fear that made your life difficult. 'Trust' could easily hide all dialogue, self exploration and truth. This is what is happening to the consumer-business relationship. 'Trust' for a business is expressed to the consumer through reliability, ability to make beautiful products and financial strength - but not truth. Truth for a business, like with a person, is a transparency of actions, intentions and values. Most businesses do not offer 'Truth' or 'Transparency' of their entire business body, and instead act like the magician to compensate.

As you stand tall to see inside the tiny magic box he holds, comforting words float out of tiny clouds and captivate your gaze. You look up as they float and smile with a feeling that this magician understands you well. When you look down, the tiny box is gone, and in his hands rests a new shiny phone wrapped in big red ribbon. He hands it to you. "Wow, how did you do it?". "Well it's a magic trick of course". And you walk away in awe of the object in your hands, afraid to ask questions to spoil the magic that created it.

This is our nature. We trust a business the same way we trust a magician. The belief, the seeing and touch of the physical product speaks a 'magical truth' within itself. There it is, the last piece of business 'trust', 'magical truth'. We all live magical lives, with all of our magical items, and we always will, but I think it's actually pretty exciting learning the magic trick too!

It is not up to you to research the entire body of a business, the secrets of the magic trick (but thank you to those who do!), it is up to the business to make that available. Through Reforest Design I hope to set a standard in transparency and trust that goes beyond a magical truth. I promise to show you all my magic tricks! You will see all my struggles, challenges and bad decisions as I work towards my mission of a 100% sustainable business. No secrets. I hope to empower you to become an expert at seeing the 'real truth' behind your products, the secrets of the magic trick, all the pages to the story.

Thank you for reading.


Reforest Design is

100% Transparent


Values exposed through transparency,
not just models & icons.

Instead of posting icons of values and an elaborate business model, Reforest Design would like to offer something better: Transparency; see all the actions, intentions and values for yourself. This business has no secrets. You will find the standard summary of our many values in the 'Seed and Vision' page, but we welcome you to explore all the pages of the story (website, social media+) and challenge us with your questions.


Reforest Design is

Learning to see Sustainably



By Ewelina Pankowska

One thing we are not taught in school is how to see. Most of us have eyes that are biologically designed to view the world through colour, clarity and depth. Sometimes we might even use an aid to restore our vision so we could see the world like everyone else, and of course, navigate the world through this very dependant sense. However, reflecting light from the physical world is only one part of seeing, the second and more important is perceiving. Our conscious minds have evolved to be so complex that perceiving the physical world objectively is close to impossible, at least at first glance.

Our minds are natural time-travellers and story-tellers; we use these skills to see. Unlike animals, who cannot see beyond their physical life experience, we could see from experiences of people we have never met and explore creative ideas that never existed. We could travel to collective memories of the past and visions of the future to see the world in limitless ways. This is all done through stories. An infinity of stories are told everyday that account for every need, desire or struggle we experience within this world. Astonishingly, stories of fact or fiction are irrelevant when we perceive because we see the world through both an objective and subjective reality. We see it both from the physical world expressed by fact and from stories expressed by emotions. As such, the world is seen by each person in a completely different way based on their physical and mentally perceived experiences. Take for example a handmade mug; show it to 20 people and each person will have a different story to tell about its physical or emotional properties. Although we each have a unique way of seeing the world, the stories we have in common offer us connection and a grounding of values. It is why we gravitate towards people who see the world most like we do.

Seeing subjectively through emotions could take us far away from reality. Humans have the ability to attach emotion to objects, people, places, thoughts and experiences. These subjects in storytelling make it easy to relate to the emotions and chemistry that our bodies are seeking to understand. However, Instincts have been so abstracted through evolution that the mere need for 'shelter' could now be reflected as a mansion filled with hundreds of inanimate objects that serve no purpose other than to bring life to a story. Stories are beautiful and necessary, but sometimes they could take us far away from the reality of the physical world. Although a purely objective world does not exists, a balance between physical and emotional seeing is necessary for a healthy world view.

But if the physical is around us, aren't we seeing just as equally physically as emotionally? Most of the time no, but we can if we learn how to. Through emotions, at the top of the subjective spectrum, we could easily travel to a different part of the world by looking at a picture, or back in time through the stories of a grandmother, or into the future through a sci-fi movie. Although all subjects of the stories are real, and many use true facts, the end result is a delicately woven emotional blanket. Here is also the place for creativity without limits, a place that does not require the physical world at all. In the objective world, through facts, we also tell stories. However, these stories are a little more difficult to put together, and sometimes only have a few pieces. This makes them difficult to see, hard to understand, and requires effort to learn the knowledge necessary to put the whole story together. This is a place for pure physical observation of the world and where science is used to prove all truths. Although we use facts to learn about truths of our universe, they are meaningless to most and usually boring on their own. Because of this there aren't very many factual stories that are shared, and of the stories that are available, access is limited. Thankfully there is the middle ground!

Seeing in balance means seeing stories from both ends of the spectrum. This does not mean having to read all the stories all the time, it means seeing that there is a story present and available for viewing from both the physical and emotional. Take again the mug for example, our standard of seeing offers us the present physical observation (shape, colour, use etc), and emotional observations (comfort, need, beauty etc) which instantly, often subconsciously, attach to already existing emotional stories. Unfortunately, one very important story that is often missed at first glance is the physical story of creation. Where did the materials come from? Where was it made? Who made it? How far did it travel? Everything physical and observable on Earth has a story of creation and death, including humanity, but it is very difficult to see at first glance as it requires knowledge or wisdom. Luckily, so much knowledge is readily available to create most pages of all the physical stories on Earth. But why is seeing these stories so important? And why don't we see them?

An unseen story is still a story that makes up our reality. All physical stories of creation exist whether we observe them or not. However, our evolution has made many of our stories so complex and heavy to read that they often go ignored. Does the mug in your home hold the story of a makers suffering, or does it hold the story of a maker with passion? What are all the other hundreds of stories playing in your home that make up your world? Seeing in balance could help us bring awareness to the stories of truth and offer understanding of our reality. Naturally, emotional stories are very potent, and connecting physical stories to existing emotional ideas becomes extremely challenging. A middle sight makes this process easier; a fact on its own is boring and meaningless, but a chain of facts with emotional glue creates a story that is beautiful.

How to train our minds to see in balance. We see our physical word in the present and through time-traveling emotion. Emotionally time-travel is easy, but through factual knowledge it is not. By introducing time-travel to our physical sight, we could learn to see in balance. This means seeing physical stories of creation and physical stories of death. This does not mean having all the knowledge in the world to see the world in balance, it means opening our eyes to at least one single word of each physical story for the past and future. Where did I get this mug? What will I do with it when it breaks? Over time, we learn to travel further into the past and future, and the knowledge base overlaps to reflect common facts in many things we see. At first, emotions will fill in gaps to the stories that are seen, but with time we start to see sentences, pages and even full books of creation or death in everything that is looked at. Why is this important?

Seeing balanced gives us control over our own reality. Everything we buy, everywhere we go, and everything we do has meaning and shapes our reality. Seeing in balance enables us to make decisions that are rooted both in the physical and emotional world. Most physical truths are covered up by emotional stories from the media, family, friends and businesses, which makes it extremely difficult to make informed decisions. By training to see balanced, we learn to see outside of the emotional stories, beyond immediate physical surroundings and find meaning in stories from every part of the world.

"In the end, seeing in balance is seeing sustainably."