ella grace denton & jemma finch | stories behind things

Ella Grace Denton and Jemma Finch are the founders of Stories Behind Things, a project that promotes sustainable living and conscious consumption, which has grown from a community on Instagram to events and outreach. The pair are also a part of WeWork’s She Leads panel on International Women’s Day, and have just launched a Kickstarter for their plastic-free toolkit so it’s the perfect time to get behind Stories Behind Things

Where do you live in London and what do you like about the area?

Ella: I live in South West London – I grew up in Barnes, a very green, wild, village on the edge of London that felt really removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. I love Barnes because I felt like it kept me in touch with the essence of community and with the natural world. I now live in Putney on a houseboat with my family, I love being on the water.. something magic about living on the Thames, it feels like a retreat.

Jemma: Living just outside of London is peaceful because I get to have space to feel creative and relaxed! I’m about 30 minutes away from central, which feels a good enough distance to feel out of it. I love taking a break from London with my family. I go on lots of walks and enjoy the fresh air, it’s also where my pets are so that’s a plus.

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Tell us what inspired you to start Stories Behind Things.

Ella: I come from a background in social media and have a passion for sustainable living whilst Jemma comes from the world of business and fashion, we share similar feelings about tackling injustice within the system we live in. Our moment of conception was pretty sudden, we we’re in a pub called The Earl Of Lonsdale discussing doing a project together and within 20 minutes this whole world had formed in our heads. We wanted to create a space that inspired others to reconnect with the items they had in their lives and why they were using them, whether it be clothing, cutlery or coffee cups.

Jemma: We’re pretty in sync generally but this was mind blowing synchronicity, it’s as if we both had the exact same idea forming and that night we bought the domain, the Instagram and Twitter handles and we’ve been working on it every day since!

What are some easy changes people can implement into their day-to-day to start living in a more sustainable way?

A flask – ask your local coffee place to put your tea or coffee in your flask instead of using coffee cups! There are so many awesome brands out there that make aesthetically beautiful, environmentally friendly coffee flasks. Our favourite is The Rice Way Coffee Cup – made out of organic waste from the process of harvesting rice! Say no to single-use plastics. Say no to straws in your drinks, take your own bags to the grocery shop and re-use a canteen instead of buying plastic bottles. Buy second hand. Whether it’s charity shopping or vintage shopping, get into hunting for unique pieces and promote the circular economy!

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You’re on the panel for WeWork’s launch of She Leads on International Women’s Day, what are your hopes for the initiative?

We really hope that the initiative inspires women to take control of their own destinies and feel supported in their endeavours. Female leadership is something we feel super passionate about, the business world is totally out of balance and we believe the feminine needs to come in and change the way business are working. It shouldn’t be about women having to take on masculine traits to fit into high positions, it’s about women being totally aligned and empowered with what it is they can bring into male-dominated work environments and being supported in doing so!

Describe your perfect day in London.

Wake up and meet for an oat mylk latte and banana bread, then walk home through the park, spend a couple of hours of laptop club on the boat organising our next Clothes Switch. Heading out in the afternoon to East London to a vintage market with friends – a lot our friends live that way – post-market we’d hit up Rehab in London, a really lovely vegan cafe with the best food, drinks and board games! Then either head out to the Blues Kitchen for some dancing or go home, have a relaxing bath, and get an early night!

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