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Sir David Attenborough: Lessons from Our Storytelling and Environmental Hero

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

As well as being one of the most recognisable people in the world and a national treasure, Sir David Attenborough has had a colossal effect on society’s views of sustainability and environmentalism and has shaped the way we storytell.

We take a look at his achievements and what we can learn from them. As well as looking at the brands who are ahead of the curve when it comes to storytelling and sustainability right now.

Storytelling Extraordinaire

Sir David Attenborough is a mesmerizing storyteller of the natural world. His shows have been eagerly anticipated for the past seven decades.

We’ve narrowed down two (of the many) reasons why he has remained relevant and engaging for such an extraordinary length of time.

1. He embraces every new platform.

Sir David is no stranger to adapting his methods of storytelling. His voice and his message have been heard on radio, tv, in cinemas and most recently, on Instagram. As media platforms have evolved, he has evolved alongside them, creating new media formats to inspire and portray his message.

He’s won awards for his work in black and white television, colour, in 3D, and in ultra-high definition. He’s an innovator who’s never let the innovation get in the way of what he’s trying to communicate. He’s always risen to the challenge and embedded the idea of television not just as a medium for entertainment, but as a channel for ideas.

Last month, he set a new world record for the fastest time to reach one million followers on Instagram, beating Jennifer Aniston in the process.

In his first video, he told his audience

“I’m making this move and exploring this new way of communication to me because, as we all know, the world is in trouble”

He already has millions of fans across the globe but has chosen Instagram to reach a younger audience. As well as it being an easier and quicker way to inform his audience and provide solutions.

2. He is a Man on a Mission

The content Sir David Attenborough creates isn’t just astonishingly high quality, it’s creative and it galvanises people into action.

He has shown that creativity has no bounds and when you believe in your mission, your ideas and your audience - you can make a huge difference.

He takes on challenges to deliver content that’s not only engaging and powerful in the short-term, but goes on to elevate his conversation on a global stage in the long-term.

Environmental Phenomenon

Since the airing of ‘Blue Planet’ on BBC One, there has been a noticeable uplift in community awareness and engagement with plastic reduction and biodiversity protection.

It has been credited with the “Blue Planet effect,” which has seen people choosing to consume less plastic by opting for reusable items. And has caused companies to create sustainable counterparts to items such as water bottles, coffee flasks, cotton pads, leather, cling-film and many, many more.

What’s more, at 94 years old, Sir David Attenborough is still producing content to raise awareness about pollution and the environmental impact we have on earth. His dedication is staggering and shows us that we’re never too late to make a difference.

As well in information, innovation and integrity, Sir David Attenborough gives us all one important thing… hope.

What Brands Are Emulating Sir David Attenborough’s Commitment to Creative Storytelling and Sustainability?

1. Allbirds

Having just released their new sustainable clothing range to add to their established footwear collection, Allbirds have been spearheading sustainability in fashion for years.

They create their products from regenerative natural materials including ZQ-certified New Zealand Merino wool, FSC-certified Eucalyptus Tree fiber and SweetFoam.

They’re also joining forces with Adidas to rewrite the rules of competitive footwear by creating a trainer with “the lowest ever carbon footprint.”

2. HURR Collective

Clothing rental platform Hurr Collective lets shoppers capitalise on discounted luxury products, letting them rent the clothing and accessories for 4, 8, 10 or 20 days.

This encourages a circular economy, and showcases how brands and retailers can take responsibility for their product.

Founder, Victoria Prew has shaken up the conversation surrounding sustainable fashion and has allowed consumers to wear their dream garments whilst helping reduce pollution.

3. Organic Basics

One brand with incredible sustainable vision is Organic Basics, they work to continuously reduce their environmental footprint, not just in their materials and factories but with their low impact website as well which reduces data transfer by up to 70% in comparison to our regular website.

They are a fully eco-friendly, organic, slow fashion, low waste and transparent company. One that will shine as consumers make conscious decisions to improve their own environmental impact.


On 22 April - annual Earth Day - Christopher Raeburn and his team staged a virtual intervention.

“We wanted to challenge ourselves to think about the future of Ræburn — how to make it more disruptive, innovative and inspiring, with the wellbeing of our team in mind,” the designer says.

They emerged with a manifesto “Raestart”, declaring that the company would deliver actions towards a better future by making less but better clothing and using radical transparency to empower and inspire consumers and other creatives.

As part of the first ever fully digital London Fashion Week, they also launched the “Raefound” capsule collection consisting of a series of military dead-stock pieces.

The capsule is a response to pressure from fashion designers to reduce waste and every piece is available in a full range of sizes and the provenance of each item can be discovered with the quick scan of a QR code.

RÆBURN Round-Up adds to the use of clever wording, but this is more than just a play on words. Like Sir David Attenborough, they are using their platform to address issues and make a difference.

5. Bacardi

Bacardi announced last week that they have launched the world’s first 100% biodegradable spirits bottle.

With CMO John Burke stating “To me, it’s also simply the right thing to do.

It’s not just brands that are helping the planet towards a more sustainable space, investor attitudes are also changing. We spoke with Gina Kirch, Founder Partner of The Venture Collective during one of our recent HVO Search Live sessions “Investing in the New World Order”.

Gina noted:

“We're seeing a lot of interest in sustainability, health technologies and the future of work. One of our recent investments has revolutionised health tech for vets. We've also worked with a company harvesting leather alternatives.
A silver lining (of the pandemic) is the progress on climate change, innovations on not only doing well but doing good.”

We appreciate this is a trying time for all of us. If you’d like to discuss market insights, or if you’re looking to hire an agile, innovative and dynamic leader who will improve your sustainability efforts, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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