GREENWASHING. WHAT IS THIS??
What is GREENWASHING? Unlike its name, it’s a dirty business. It’s a misrepresentation that a brand is both environmentally and ethically sound – when in fact they are far from it. It’s a form of deceitful marketing with ‘green’ values and ‘green’ messages that are actually deceptive and are used to persuade the public that an organization’s products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly. It is a deceitful advertising gimmick intended to mislead consumers who prefer to buy goods and services from environmentally conscious brands.
Mass brands are jumping on the sustainability bandwagon using their brand power to distort sustainability in the name of profit. In order for brands to truly integrate sustainability, they need to maximize transparency and collaboration within its supply chain – from the cotton field to the design studio and to the stores. This information should be clear on the brand’s website.
How to recognize ‘greenwashing’. Well, first go to the company’s website and learn about the company and their practices. Look for clear, transparent practices with the way the brand approaches fabrics, social ethics, production, environmental impacts and what recycling or buyback programs do they offer, if any.
Here are some ways to dig deeper, look for:
- Vague or generic language – words or terms with no clear meaning, like eco-friendly or conscious.
- Confusing or hard to understand language.
- Green products made by a dirty company – like an organic cotton tee added to the line of 100 other non-green products.
- Vague suggestive pictures – images of flowers or grass that’s meant to look ‘green’ but have no actual sustainable products on the line.
- No proof of their claims – like ‘ethical’ production but no real proof of where or how they maintain they are ethical. Do they have any detailed stats to back up their claims?
- What are the company’s goals? – example, do they have a goal to be ‘carbon’ neutral?
- Packaging – do they claim to have recycled packaging with no plastic used?
- Social responsibility and values – do they practice what they preach? Do they stand behind diversity and inclusion – this should be clear on their website and thru their practices.
Best way to not get deceived by corporate greenwashing practices is be your own investigator! Do your research and email brands if you have more questions.
Xoxo A Sustainable Love 💚