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What Is Greenwashing And How To Avoid It

by: Rosie Dalton | 7 months ago | Features

Greenwashing is nothing new. In fact, it is everywhere from our supermarkets to our chemists. According to Investopedia, "Greenwashing is conveying a false impression that a company or its products are more environmentally sound than they really are." 

In fashion, greenwashing has become particularly insidious over recent years, with many brands claiming to be 'sustainable' without the evidence to back up those claims. Which is why we're rounding up what to look for and how to avoid greenwashing.

Be wary of misleading imagery
Often brands that are trying to greenwash will do so by investing in imagery that makes their products seem green. So be wary of eco-looking graphics that are stuffed with nature or plants, just for the sake of it. Don't judge a book by its cover, basically.

Seek out certifications
Certifications are helpful in determining which brands are genuinely minimising their planetary impact. So keep an eye out for sustainable fabrics such as certified organic cotton or closed loop viscose like Tencel, which is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Look beyond the packaging
It’s great to see brands investing in sustainable packaging options like recycled cardboard and compostable satchels. But don't be tricked into thinking a brand is sustainable just because their packaging looks the part. If their clothes use 50% recycled materials, for example, ask how they're recycled and what makes up the other 50%.

Do your research
Just because a brand claims to be sustainable, doesn't mean those claims are valid. Many of the commonly used terms around ethical fashion are deliberatelly vague and not very well policed. So, if the brand doesn't provide actual details on how its clothing is sustainable, ask them about their material content, practices and certifications.

Consider the business as a whole
It's also important to consider not just one product (or product line) when guarding against greenwashing, but to actually look at the brand as a whole. The latest trend in fashion greenwashing is to simply tack a 'sustainable' line onto a fast fashion supply chain, which is inherently unsustainable.

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