Back-story, in the production of consumer goods, is information about the effects of their production.
As of June 2007[update] sustainability advocates had begun[when?] evoking literary backstories to refer to the "backstories" of goods: that is, the impacts on the planet and people, caused by producing and delivering those goods. Without knowledge of the full backstory of a product, a consumer cannot accurately judge whether the impacts of purchasing it are good or bad. Some environmentalists and consumer-protection advocates argue that greater corporate and governmental transparency would be a critical step towards sustainability, enabling consumers to make more informed choices, and activists to bring public opinion to bear on practices they consider unethical.