Goodfest 2019: What we learned at the hub of creativity and sustainability

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Team Enviral recently headed to the beautiful Cornish town of Mawgan Porth for two days of inspirational talks, epic food and some awesome conversations at the inaugural Goodfest.


From Finisterre’s Tom Kay and Surfers Against Sewage’s Hugo Tagholm to the Eden Project’s Sir Tim Smit, Goodfest focussed on exploring ways to creatively share vital stories for the benefit of people and the planet.

With the rise of Extinction Rebellion, the Attenborough-effect on plastic and the UK declaring a climate emergency, this event couldn’t have come at a more pivotal time. Hosted by environmentalist and much-loved Springwatch presenter Gillian Burke, Goodfest focused on a huge range of environmental issues, sustainable solutions and reasons to be stoked for the future.

We came away feeling hopeful and inspired, and ready to unleash our creative juices to produce awesome, behavioural changing content! In fact, we were so inspired that we’ve planted a tree for every member who attended, adding another 120 to our tree growing efforts.    

Kindness is key

A recurring theme throughout this entire event was kindness. Kindness in business, kindness to ourselves and kindness to the planet. With language in business frequently negative, it’s vital to focus on the positives and remember that business success doesn’t mean hostility. With word-of-mouth marketing being one of the most effective marketing channels, reputation matters!

When it comes to the planet, kindness is vital for its longevity. Shop less, re-use more and consider the impact you’re having on people and the plane.

And most importantly, when it comes to kindness, you must practice what you preach: Be kind to yourself.


“If you stand for nothing, you fall for everything” – Mark Shayler

Good is the new cool

Changing consumer behaviours are driving business change as eco-conscious millennials push businesses to begin taking their sustainability seriously. As this change continues, good is becoming the new ‘cool’ with businesses evolving their packaging, processes, suppliers and products in line with consumer demands. For us, this is epic, having an engaged population who are ready to listen and learn is never a bad thing, but beware of the ‘green-washers’.

With sustainability becoming ever more popular, we’re seeing a rise in brands claiming eco-credentials as a marketing tool. Savvy consumers can spot this a mile off, so if you ‘ain’t’ got the clout to back-up your sustainability messaging, then seriously, leave it out.

The future is circular

The throw-away culture is slowly changing. As Annie Leonard states, “There is no such thing as away. When we throw something away it must go somewhere”. But where is that somewhere?

It’s our oceans, our beaches and our parks. This somewhere is our world.

The linear economy of take, make and dispose is destroying our world, and the future of our planet is circular. We need to continue to turn today’s waste into tomorrows product.

Yet the barrier to the circular economy is behaviour change, and behaviour change relies on the creative communication of the values of recyclable and longlasting products. Consumers need simple, creative messaging to help showcase why they should shop smarter and shop less.

Communicate creatively

Sustainability has a bad brand image. From polar bears to melting ice caps, we’ve spent years watching negative images on our TV screens, and to be honest, this type of messaging doesn’t work.

Bombarding people with doom and gloom messaging doesn’t inspire people to act. “Why bother when we’re done for?”. What’s needed is positive, inspirational messaging which calls on consumer emotions. Just like David Attenborough and plastic pollution, people need to be gently shocked and inspired enough to change their behaviours.

As Hugo Tagholm told us – Blue Planet II featured 14 hours of footage, and only 14 minutes were focussed on plastic. Yet, this led to a 53% drop in single-use plastic (GlobalWebIndex) which is absolutely mind-blowing. This just goes to show how powerful messages can be when they’re communicated effectively.

So, to summarise, the first Goodfest was exactly what is said on the tin. Two days of good speakers, good conversation and good ideas exploring how to create sustainable change through purposeful ideas and actions!



Thanks for reading, bring on Goodfest 2020!

Written by
Joss Ford