(Nounˌ mæn.ɪˈfes.təʊ A written statement of beliefs, aims, and policies)
In a world of greenwashing and fake news we work hard to create content you can trust.
We do this in-line with brands we trust. We are not a certification, and we don’t audit. But, we do ask a lot of questions before we work with anyone. We make it clear we don’t expect perfection, but we do expect honesty. We rely on our community of brands to hold each other to account.
The sustainability movement has been accused of being an expensive, middle-class ideal – and it’s undeniably a class issue. Did you know 50% of emissions are created by 10% of the population? That’s probably you. That’s us.
Fast-food and fast-fashion companies are getting rich from the exploitation of people and the planet. And we’re all allowing them to do so by blindly buying what they’re selling – be it ideals or products.
Our goal is to get behind the clever marketing and unravel what’s really going on. Our aim is to empower you to make a decision based on genuine facts, not clever marketing.
Our hope is that this makes sustainability more accessible and more appealing to everyone.
There are many brilliant people who are doing business differently and better, and we’re creating a platform for their many voices to be heard.
For years, we have been growing our networks at the heart of sustainability and on the fringes of popular culture. It’s a refreshing and optimistic place and we’re excited to bring genuine sustainable thought-leadership more into the mainstream.
Do you know what all the brands talking about their ambitious environmental targets are pretty silent about?
The people in their supply chain.
In fashion, a staggering percentage of the 75 million people (mainly women and children) who make our clothes live in poverty and are victims of abuse. When it comes to food, modern slavery is rife in coffee and cocoa production. So much human suffering for chocolate or a cheap top!? This is unacceptable.
We think basic human rights should be a primary goal along with sustainable materials and processes. Simply put, don’t exploit people for profits. Don’t pay George Clooney a reported £31 million to be the face of your coffee campaigns when the people in your supply chain struggle to send their children to school.
There’s a lot of talk about environmental sustainability. Especially when it comes to carbon footprints and ‘Net Zero’. This is hugely important. Massive. Essential.
We need to stop talking the talk without walking the walk. We need to question all these 2030 or 2050 ‘goals’. This inaction is devastating animal habitats and communities right now, today.
We’re suggesting we all put our money where our values are. Yes, we’ll still buy that top from Zara – when* it’s achieved its goal of creating 100% of their clothes from sustainable materials in 2025**.
**(and guarantees all workers are paid fairly in their supply chain).
Protecting people and the planet is something you really can’t disagree with (if you do, we’d love to hear why at email@example.com).
But meat vs veganism is a highly contentious issue. Our premise is this: we would never pack chickens so tightly in a shed that they have more space dead in the oven than they do when they’re alive. So, why are we eating chicken farmed this way?
We’re not a vegan site because we know there are amazing farmers up and down the country who have animal welfare at the heart of their businesses. Have you heard about the vegetarian Black Welsh Lamb farmers, for example?
However, we’re huge advocates for eating less meat and better quality. Especially as there is some evidence that suggests this can be done in a way that benefits the environment.
We’re not convinced all vegan solutions are better for people and the planet. In fact, we think the term is being appropriated by some (meat!) corporations who are touting their highly-processed products as vegan without much consideration for people or the environment.
But, we’re aligned with the vegan ideals of protecting animals, being healthier and better for the planet. And we will continue to research and discuss, and remain a platform that is open to these debates and presents the best of both.
Does Live Frankly inspire you to live better? Does it give you hope? Does it make you feel that the choices you make matter? Do you sometimes fall off the wagon? Do you then get back on? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of those, then we’re doing our job.
No-one is perfect and we’re all operating in an imperfect system.
We’re learning more everyday as we research and write and expose ourselves, and you, to new ideas. We’re always striving to do better.
To paraphrase Maya Angleou: We will do the best we can until we know better. Then, when we know better, we’ll do better.
All consumer-facing brands are driven by consumer demand. As soon as we refuse to play by their rules – i.e. ask #whomyclothes and where does my food come from? – the quicker they will find the solutions they have (apparently) been searching so long and hard for.
A common narrative in sustainability is that for change to happen at scale the Nikes, Adidas’, Primarks, H&Ms, Sainsburys, Tescos and M&Ss of this world need to be on board.
We like to think of ourselves as a ‘critical friend’ to this idea and to these brands. We appreciate it takes time to change but we’re not going to congratulate token efforts. Simply put: it doesn’t matter if they have an ethical line of products if most of the other things they do are harmful.
The baseline for us is: does your company do more harm or good in this world? And how quickly are you actually addressing that balance?
In 2019 the Parliament’s environmental audit committee published a “Fixing Fashion” report. They recommended a tax of 1p per garment to help curb the throwaway culture and mandatory environmental targets, among other proposals. It was refused.
Do you know how many proposals the government implemented? None. Not one. Zero. This needs to change and fast.
At the moment it’s cheaper for businesses to act unsustainably. Frankly, they make more profits when they pollute. We suspect if we had a ‘polluter pays’ policy, sustainable solutions would be found a lot faster.
Isn’t everything we’re already doing already enough!? We’re joking, of course.
Our whole reason for being is to make the world a fairer, more honest, better place. That starts with people being more informed.
We try to be conscious in everything we do. For example, we don’t hire interns unless we can pay them, so we can create equal opportunity for people from all backgrounds.
In our personal lives, we mentor, work in food banks and give our time and energy to causes we believe in. We do a lot of work for free, promoting the brilliant work of, and being a critical friend to, people like Fairtrade, Fashion Revolution and the Soil Association.
Basically, if Which? was cool and did lifestyle content this is what it would look like. Probably.