Look Out! 3 Signs of Greenwashing

Have you ever wondered how committed a brand is to being environmentally friendly, but you're not sure what to look out for? If you look anywhere, you will see well known brands starting to use phrases like “eco-friendly” and “recycle-materials,” but with these terms entering the mainstream fashion industry we are also seeing they aren’t always rooted in fact. Greenwashing is a term that has been applied to brands using misleading phrases to market their products as good for the planet, when in reality that might be far from the truth. So, how do you know if it’s true or just a marketing scheme? Here are a three red flags to look for in the era of greenwashing: 

  1. I don’t think that word means what you think it means. 
    The first and most obvious red flag to look for is vague language. Words like “green,” “natural,” or “recycled-material,” don’t really mean much if they aren’t backed-up with more details. A common place this can be seen in the fashion industry is in raw materials. Just because a material may come from a plant, it doesn’t mean the processes to grow and harvest it in mass quantities are necessarily good for the planet.

  2. Creating a false vibe with images. 
    A picture is worth a thousand words, this might ring even truer in marketing. A brand may try to create an aesthetic that portrays them as natural with their color palette and images of nature, but the link between their products and environmental consciousness may be nothing more than implied. The best way to avoid falling for an untrue aesthetic is to do your research, and look out for red flag number 3, below.

  3. They’re not shouting it from the rooftops. 
    When a brand is sustainable, eco-friendly, or ethical they are usually incredibly proud of their values and the systems they have implemented to make their products good for both people and the environment. They will want to make this information easy to find, and they will never want you to guess whether or not they can back up their claims. If you are having a hard time finding information to back up a sustainability claim, don’t be afraid to ask.

We know there is a lot of noise out there, so we want to make sure you can easily find information on our ethics and sustainability. You can learn more about our social and environmental impact on our website. If you still have questions, we’d love to hear from you!

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