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.