In Conversation with... Jemma Finch.
Jemma Finch, is an award winning fashion trailblazer, BBC Earth and Allbirds ambassador with a story telling platform and online store sharing some of the most innovative sustainable brands.
I’ve admired Stories Behind Things (SBT) for several years now. As a designer myself I’ve really connected with both the visual language as well as the breadth of thought provoking topics you share. When and where did your passion for the environment begin for you? Did you go to university and what did you read?
Firstly, thank you! I studied Fashion Business at University and have always had a love for visual communication. This still exists as a passion for me today and I direct all of Stories Behind Things assets and visual identity.
Can you tell us more about your ambassador roles and what they entail?
Being an ambassador for Allbirds has been a great experience, they are a true example of how sustainable product and design can be scalable. Offering the industry their block chain technology or insight into new material blends, is setting a new precedent within the industry - to all do better. As an ambassador, I have partnered with Allbirds to assist in telling their story across SBT, as well as integrating with the team here in London to learn more about the behind the scenes.
We are really interested in female-led business owners, it’s so inspiring. Can you tell us about the team and day to day at SBT? What does a week look like for you?
One thing that is true for an entrepreneur is that every day is different. We are based in London from a co-working space, which gies the team flexibility for meetings and projects across the city. My team has recently grown so a lot of my time has been allocated to developing our internal processes - the unglamorous side of the business!
What are you favourite reads for people looking to delve deeper into sustainability?
I’m more of a podcast person, I often listen to podcasts each morning as i head into the office. I also use podcasts as a way to unwind and reconnect to myself after work. I’d recommend ‘How It Works’ and ‘Diary of a CEO’ as two of my favourites right now.
I recently watched the Dispatches documentary ’The Truth About Nike and Adidas'. I wear a lot of sportswear so it was really shocking to learn about their unsustainable practises for their supposedly sustainable lines. Are there any documentaries that we should be watching?
I am excited to share that I have just been featured in a new documentary called Unstitched alongside leading voices in the industry such as Orsola de Castro, Tansy Hopkins and more. The documentary uncovers some of the issues the fashion industry is facing and explores what the future can and should look like, for the sake of our people and planet. It launched on September 27th 2022 and is one to watch!
Please tell us about a couple of brands that you think are doing some innovative things at the moment?
My go to brands right now, alongside new discoveries are - Allbirds, UnWorn - a new second hand website, and of course anything from Ebay (!!).
I like how empowering the news you share is, it’s a regular source of insight for me. Sometimes the volume of sources can be overwhelming, how do you find and decide upon the areas to shine a light on?
The Snews is our weekly download of news stories that we’ve been reading that week. For me, the mainstream news is always leaving me feeling overwhelmed and often uninspired to take daily action, as the issues always tend to feel insurmountable. The reason we share news stories every week is to balance out the bad with hopefully stories, innovations and advancements that we are seeing across all sectors. Whether that be fashion, food, tech or governmental changes.
I’ve read how you incorporate mindfulness techniques (like getting into nature), what are your favourite ways to unwind?
No phones!! My absolute favourite thing to do on the weekends is to not use my phone for hours at a time, it sounds very basic but as my phone is very connected to my work, I find joy in re-prioritising it on my weekends. Getting into nature is also a practice I prioritize each weekend.
Would you ever consider collaborating with any other brands? And what would that look like?
At Stories Behind Things we often partner with brands to help amplify and share their story to our audience. From global players such as Allbirds to new and innovative individuals or startups that are making waves in the industry. We love to find new stories to sell through collaboration and partnerships.
Are you speaking at any events this year we could listen to you at?
Yes! I am speaking at The Wip’s new sustainability conference towards the end of October. Links to sign up coming soon! I always really enjoy speaking at these sorts of events as it allows me to meet new people and members of our community.
And finally, are you able to share with us any projects in the pipeline?