Greenwashing isn’t anything new. However as sustainability becomes more and more of a “trend” and as people begin to take more notice of the climate crisis, it’s becoming more and more prevalent.
And it makes sense. Consumers are trying to be more mindful of the products they buy and the companies they support. And if this were the case there would be a lot of companies whose sales would plummet due to their unsustainable practices.
So naturally, brands have upped their marketing tactics to include a lot of greenwashing buzzwords to essentially trick consumers into thinking they’re more eco-friendly when they’re not.
Not sure what greenwashing is? Get the full low down here.
Here are some greenwashing examples and buzzwords to watch out for:
1. Eco-Conscious clothing collections
Nothing boils my blood more than when fast-fashion brands release “eco-conscious” collections. Like…what? You’re trying to tell me that instead of making real, tangible steps towards a sustainable clothing company, you would rather release a collection that maybe has natural fabrics and dyes while still producing unsustainable clothing.
Make it make sense! I wrote a full blog post on this issue that you can read here. But suffice it to say, if a fast fashion brand release an “eco-friendly” or “conscious” (they love that word!) collection, it’s anything but.
2. Unregulated buzzwords
A brand can claim to be a LOT of things that aren’t true. Especially by using these unregulated buzzwords. And they include:
To name a few. I especially notice these on hair products, makeup and skincare. And guess what? They mean nothing! Anyone can slap these words on a product with absolutely nothing to back it up. Especially throwing “vegan” on a product that would naturally be so. It’s just to grab attention.
3. Nature-inspired pictures and colours
Brands love using pictures of nature and especially a lot of green to invoke a feeling of eco-consciousness. And it’s just pure marketing. Again, it doesn’t mean anything and any brand can do this. One of my favourite examples is a brand called “love, beauty and planet”. Not only did they have the word “planet” in there but their packaging had lots of green, flowers, plants and more. But they’re actually owned by one of the top polluting brands, Unilever.
Appearances aren’t always what they seem.
4. Eco-friendly products packed in plastic
I see this everywhere as every brand now sees eco-friendly products are profitable. We’re talking reusable straws and bamboo toothbrushes wrapped in plastic. While I’m happy that reusables are becoming more accessible, it’s still frustrating to see brands completely miss the point.
What greenwashing tactics have you seen in action? I hope this helps you know what to look for in the future! Please don’t forget to share this post and follow me on Instagram for daily low-waste living inspiration.