Greenwashing is a term used when a company or other entity promotes positive environmental practices, using ideals to build an “environmentally friendly” image, when in reality this doesn’t happen.
It’s common to see large companies investing in environmental initiatives to actually cover up environmental damage. Whether it’s through practices of returning clothes for recycling, giving discount vouchers that appeal for more consumption, or labeling parts with “ECO” or “JOIN LIFE” claiming the use of environmentally friendly fibers when in reality they represent a minority.
How to identify?
1. Check certifications
It is common for products to be sold with the promise of being ecological and sustainable, with eye-catching written names. But they have no evidence to prove it. Look for environmental certifications, seals and regulations that are a guarantee that the entire process has been verified and the environmental benefits recognized.
2. All details count
If a label was not enough to make it clear, research better the sustainable practices of the brand and whether the certifications are credible.
3. Distrust of made sentences
Phrases like “Sustainable Brand”, “Friend of Nature”, “100% biodegradable”, “environmentally responsible” are not enough, they are often used to distract our attention from what is really relevant.
4. Knowing the whole cycle
The use of a biodegradable or recycled raw material is not enough to say that what we are buying is sustainable. Sustainability must be present throughout the entire cycle, from dignified manufacturing conditions to transport.
We are in an era in which the consumer is increasingly informed, if we are aware of possible fraud and demand that brands behave in a truly sustainable way, the whole process automatically changes. So be aware while shopping and don’t forget that a small step makes all the difference.