Attending the Sustainable Brands Conference, Vancouver 2018 was an enlightening, frightening, and somewhat of a hopeful experience. I can’t think of a better place to host a conference dedicated to promoting sustainable business practices than in Vancouver’s inner harbor, an incredibly beautiful convention center built alongside white capped mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
I was a newbie, I was in total learning mode, listening to speakers from some of the world’s newest, oldest and most well-known corporations like: Proctor & Gamble, Starbucks, REI, National Geographic, Patagonia, Target, Lyft, Ben & Jerry’s, LUSH, Target and the list goes on. Over the course of 4 days, I attended multiple discussion, panels and workshops. All of which exposed me to an idea I never really considered… corporations and brands taking a leadership role in fostering positive social change. I always thought of large corporations as the enemy of the environment and the people. (I’m not saying that perspective totally changed.)
The idea that resonated most with me and that I embraced as part of my own business model was, be unafraid to lead with your values. This is not a novel concept by any means, it just seemed impossible for a me being a woman who is passionate about and totally committed to putting community first, fighting for Women’s Rights and Human Rights, protecting the environment and wildlife that are too quickly being destroyed. I’ve always felt I had to hide those parts of me to be successful in the corporate world, compromise my passion, and go with the flow. But as it turns out, value driven brands are in high demand and people don’t just want to be sold something, they want to belong to something, something good.