Why an elephant? Why a tribe? Why pink?

You may have noticed that The Good Tribe’s logo is an elephant, and that we like pink. People are often very curious about the elephant, our name, and our choice of colour, and ask us: Why an elephant? Why a tribe? Why pink? We love these three questions, because in answering those we get to talk about the story behind The Good Tribe and our values.

On February 22, 2009, what we now recognize as the day The Good Tribe was born, Gayathri and Evelina visited a temple together outside of Madurai, southern India. All of the sudden something big standing in a corner of the sparely lit temple caught Evelina’s attention. A huge elephant, inside the crowded temple! Gayathri met Evelina’s astonished looks with laughter and said, “It’s normal! You want to get blessed!?” Said and done. We gave the elephant (and its master) a coin, bowed humbly, and the elephant took turns to bless us by resting its trunk on our heads for a short second. Breathtaking! We felt pretty small in that moment. The elephant encounter was just one detail of the amazing trip we did together through Tamil Nadu and Kerala, during which the idea of The Good Tribe was born.

So when it later was time to choose a symbol for our logo, what else could art director Magnus Gillberg do than get us an elephant! More than being just a powerful symbol for the both of us, elephants represent values that are highly important to us: integrity, long-term thinking, knowledge, intelligent and value based leadership, and the importance of the tribe.

So why a tribe? One of the people who have influenced our business and marketing thinking most is the author Seth Godin. His message is that in order to find our place on the market we need to build a tribe of people who share and support our goal. For us this means to create a Zero Waste society, in which we empower people to take care of the amazing resources we have, both in terms of material resources and human capacity - and it starts by gathering these people who share and support our goal. For us a tribe also implies that we should do business with tribe spirit: we show solidarity, act with compassion and love, our leadership is value based, we are courageous, and we are way more powerful and make much more noise when we stand and act together.

And what about the colour pink? Pink is different. Especially in the field of sustainability and environmental issues most things tend to be greener than green. Don’t get us wrong, we love green! But it certainly has its advantages to be the pink flower in a field of green. But back to different. In order to rethink and challenge today’s economic structure and values, the destructive consumer behaviour, and the focus on infinite economic growth we have to think pink, meaning out of the ordinary, unconventional, pioneering, and joyful. We have to show that there are accessible alternatives (like Zero Waste and Social Entrepreneurship) to established ideas, norms, and values, which lead to a healthy and happy planet. This change is going to be anything but easy. But a powerful method accomplishing change is addressing emotions – especially passion, fun, and creativity – and what better colour to communicate that is there than sparkling pink!?

Enter: Pinky Ele Now let’s take a step further and combine the three parts – think of a pink elephant tribe! Hello The Good Tribe! And our muse, the pink elephant: Pinky Ele! We’ve noticed that having a pink elephant in the room, even a small one made out of porcelain, makes people look twice, smile, and ask intrigued questions. An excellent way of engaging conversations, which lead to inspiration, rethinking, creativity, exchange of knowledge, and perhaps even actions which contribute to a happy planet!

In the spirit of The Good Tribe we wish you lots of pink elephant love!

Gayathri Rathinavelu & Evelina Lundqvist  Founders of The Good Tribe

Photo: Rupert Pessl, The Good Tribe