A new logo: Sustainable Seas Trust’s renewed purpose across Africa

We have a new look, but our purpose remains the same; to protect Africa’s seas and enable the blue economy.

For us, this is more than an aesthetic rebrand, it’s been months of re-evaluating what we do and how we do it, from the inside out. We started by implementing a thorough Theory of Change within our organisation. Driven by research and compelling evidence, we looked at how we could achieve our long-term goals by better supporting communities and the organisations we work with, connecting all stakeholders and creating a stronger and more relevant brand presence within the field. 

As our mandate has grown, there has been a need to appeal to and seek to work with a growing and diversified target audience. This means that we need to communicate on a broader scale while being sensitive to the messages that our audience is receptive to. The future of our seas will benefit generations to come and it’s important that we speak to our youth and draw fresh interest and involvement in sustaining our seas. This translates directly to a change in the way brands are communicated and consumed, with digital being at the forefront. Our logo needs to be able to translate well on small screens and across all media, so that we remain relevant and effective in reaching all our audiences. 

After all, we are in a sea of organisations within this field. By redefining our brand and logo, we want potential partners, investors, and stakeholders to see that we are ambitious. We’re here to stake our claim and remain memorable as an entity they would be comfortable to invest in and partner with. 

Our new logo embodies all this new energy and thinking. It is a symbol of a united purpose for the benefit of all the individuals, businesses, and organisations we network with. People are at the centre of what we do, and we’ve chosen to celebrate this together with the love and care we have for our seas and instil in all those who work alongside us. 

Our approach is direct. And so is our name. 

SST is how we’ve chosen to identify ourselves. Short, simple, memorable. We are not just an organisation that sustains our seas. We mitigate the risk of marine pollution to enable the blue economy by integrating sustainable waste management principles into value chains through education, research, targeted action, and partnerships. This is more than just preventing plastic pollution but ensuring that sustainable waste management addresses all risks to the ocean including industrial, agricultural, and household waste. We removed “Sustainable Seas Trust” from our most recognisable asset, our logo, but kept it everywhere else. This resonates with us being an organisation with a much broader mandate. 

And frankly, we feel that it’s much catchier.  

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Although our mandate has broadened, as has our scope of work, mitigating the impact of marine pollution through enabling the blue economy for Africa still sits firmly at our core. As a network maker, we realise that we can only achieve this if we work together. We’ve chosen to embody this in our new tagline.

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A hardworking corporate identity brings it all together  

We’re an organisation with many properties; The African Waste Academy enables e-learning and accessible resources across Africa; our African Network Map allows people to find organisations working in and researching the waste management field, drop-off and buy-back sites within the collection and recycling value chain; and clean-up spots that speak to the work of the active community within our innovative clean-up campaign, Operation Clean Spot. 

Our challenge was to ensure these properties could work and align with our primary logo, ensuring they always fit within SST’s updated purpose and new identity. The same thinking applies to sponsorships and event branding. We must admit, we do love getting a little bit technical. After all, we’re driven by research. 

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We work from land to sea, helping to enable flourishing coastal communities for all. That’s why our core and supporting brand colours are inspired by the sea, while our property colours are a celebration of Africa’s vibrancy and the culture of her people. 

A picture is worth a thousand words, but words are nothing without action. To embody what we do, we developed a series of brand icons that speak back to all aspects of our organisation and the work we enable.  

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Three letters make an impact through four pillars  

SST is an organisation with clear objectives. We have many portfolios of work, and our updated approach  categorises these into four impact pillars:

What we’re learning

Our Research, Development, and Monitoring impact portfolio focuses on understanding and measuring the impact of waste in African coastal communities, enabling us to design, take and measure the necessary mitigating action and its impact.

What we’re teaching

We develop relevant, high-quality educational resources for use across Africa, in support of education for sustainable development and sustainable waste management. Our unique e-learning platform, the African Waste Academy, is the first of its kind on the continent.

Where we’re helping

Enabling sustainable waste management strategies means identifying and developing partnerships to support communities, where appropriate, enabling and supporting enterprises by working with informal waste collectors and SMMEs, and working alongside local communities.

How we’re working

As custodians of an extensive network that must serve and support our African partners well, we keep working to provide and strengthen collaborative tools like SST’s African Network Maps. Our clean-up campaign, Operation Clean Spot, enables us to gather measurable results and develop design principles for a cohesive approach towards waste management across stakeholder groups which can be replicated across Africa.

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Join us for the future of Africa’s seas 

We’re ready to take inspired and collective action with renewed purpose. Our goal is to create an even stronger network across Africa, inspire more people to become collective custodians of Africa’s seas, extend our presence and make an even greater impact in all our work. We’re excited to embark on the next chapter of our journey together with you to sustain Africa’s seas.

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