When Sustainability Finds The Branding
I’ve been passionate about brands and graphic design as long as I can remember. Intricate designs, fabulous packages and amazing architectural projects always made me fall in love with creating imagery and branding. Branding is a powerful tool to express a business or a project and communicate some message.
I was never a sustainable person or someone who really cares about environmental subjects. Two years ago, I was not aware of agricultural problems, global warming or plastic issues. I was just a 22 years old girl who loved design and beautiful graphics. Even though I wasn’t a sustainable person, I was always connected to brands who communicated about sustainability. How is this possible?
I remember when I saw the glass straws in a brand’s Instagram profile and I was sooo in love with them, with the logo, the colors, the Instagram’s feed… And I took the decision to start searching about that glass straws and why they were important. The brand was persuasive and well succeed to communicate the message and everyone was crazy about those glass straws. It happened, the glass straws became a hype thing in Brasília. Everyone was buying glass straws and “being sustainable”.
For some coincidence, in that time, I started a internship in WWF-Brazil - a environmentalist NGO. I started do search and understand everything about the planet, the agricultural problems, global warming and environmental agendas. I was obsessed about sustainability. I wasn’t that ignorant person anymore and I definitely didn’t need anymore that beautiful and interesting brands to teach me about sustainability. I was the one who was teaching other about the plastic matter.
I started to observe my friends and family when I was talking and talking about sustainability and I can ensure to you that they were just not giving a fuck for what I was saying. Yes, people were always bored with all my sustainable speeches. They didn’t care about, they were really not interested. I could see in their eyes: “Victoria, please, stop talking”. Yes, my friends, was a dark time to teach about plastic and global warming to my family and close friends. Hahaha
How ever, someday, something incredible happened – some non interested friend of mine bought a glass straw and started posting on social media some hashtags about being sustainable and supporting the #nonplastic cause. That person wasn’t worried about environmental AT ALL. What the fuck was going on? In that moment I realized: that glass straw brand was making more impact with their cute Instagram’s feed and nice graphic design than me and a lot of environmental organizations. The true is hard, but a cute local brand was really doing a huge impact in the habits of people in my city and me and my environmentalist friends wasn’t.
This is the positive side about capitalism – sometimes, this economic system is capable to teach people good things. With a persuasive discourse to sell something, brands can change the world. As a brand designer, I can clearly see that the tool witch is helping brands to make all this impacts, for sure, is the branding one. Graphic design and all the communications tools are the train witch is driving brands to the final destiny.