Don’t unknowingly get caught up in greenwashing - not everything that sounds eco-friendly actually is. 

Don’t unknowingly get caught up in greenwashing - not everything that sounds eco-friendly actually is. 

[video below] 

Greenwashing: n. the deceptive practice of presenting a company, its products, or its policies as more environmentally friendly or sustainable than they really are.

Greenwashing has been around for decades, but the awareness surrounding the practice has grown as sustainability becomes a trend. Companies will use (1) misleading marketing tactics, (2) vague wording, (3) false certifications, and (4) lack transparency. You may also see (5) irrelevant graphics on their website promoting nature when in truth their products harm it. Another common tactic is (6) being selective with what companies wish to highlight while downplaying their negative impact in other areas to hide them from view. 

A genuine commitment to sustainability involves transparency.

What does that look like?

Companies should share information regarding (1) sourcing, (2) supply chain, and (3) manufacturing. Third-party certifications (4) that are also transparent and verifiable from reputable organizations such as Fairtrade International, Certified B Corporations, Global Organic Textile Standard, and the like, add credibility to support a company’s environmental claims. Additionally, using (5) clear communication with specific terminology, (6) honoring accountability, and showing the desire for (7) continuous improvement are all commendable strategies to avoid greenwashing. 

Lastly, for my eco-conscious consumers out there, organizations have created “cheat sheets” to do the research for you. Check out goodonyou.eco and the brand directory at remake.world to find the truth behind the brands you love.

*video features Lindsey Coffey, Head of Community Engagment & Impact Awareness at EcoBranders 

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