Credit: The Business of Fashion

Let’s start with the term, Greenwashing. What does it mean? When we think of the word ‘green’ we assume healthy, environment and life. But what does it mean in terms of the fashion industry?

In regards to the fashion industry Greenwashing is claiming to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable than they actually are. Sounds simple, right?

However, it is only a large marketing scheme to get conscious buyers to hand over their cash.

The term has been around since the 60’s, ensuring that for the past 62 years consumers are misled when trying to do the right thing by the environment.

How To Recognise It

Credit: Fashionista

Greenwashing is finally being cracked down on. Moreover, consumers are becoming more cautious when choosing who to by from.

Sometimes, it can be hard to differentiate between genuine brands and classic good marketing skills.

Here are a few tips on how to recognise if you are seriously buying for the right reasons.

  1. Look for the facts. If you really want to see if the clothes you are buying are sustainable and environmentally friendly, look it up!

It might be that annoying extra step, but consumers who are heavily conscious on this topic won’t mind the extra hurdle. If a brand doesn’t share figures or facts about their clothing lines it might be time to give them the boot.

2. Outlandish claims!

Greenwashing in the market will be like a slap in the face. Every turn you make, the next brand will be claiming they are saving the environment. That is not a good sign… unless they can prove it.

3. Over compensating.

If a brand insists they are all for flower power however, their other actions do not reflect their positive ‘can do’ attitude. RED FLAG!

4. Saving the planet means more money of us!

Already that indicates lack of trust between consumer and seller. To be fair, every consumer knows where their money goes once the beep of the eftpos machine signals. But, their is no need for a brand to lie or deny where their clothes are coming from and how they are being produced. No matter what, a fashion company will get a customer.

Why Do It?

Credit: Not What It Seams – Substack

They want to seem like they are doing good.

Plain and simple.

If they are appealing to the consumer, the consumer will feel like they are doing their part for the environment. It is all about the competition. To sound more attractive than the store two windows over.

Nothing more than a gimmick.

An article by Bose, on Green Queen comments on this issue,

“Rather than work out the nitty-gritty of truly integrating sustainability into their supply chain, some companies use marketing tactics to paint a greener picture instead.”

Furthermore, Vogue Business is all for taking down the enemy,

“As sustainability claims become increasingly prominent, regulators are scrambling to tighten guidance and clamp down on breaches. What does this mean for fashion?”

Fashion companies are becoming too comfortable with taking advantage of their consumers. Lack of education when it comes to Greenwashing is how they make bank from your buck.

Celeb Promos

Maisie Williams | Credit: H&M

The more respect and following a celebrity has, the less likely it is to question their motives as a person. Especially, when they are heavily related to by their fans. Fashion companies obviously take this into consideration when choosing the face for their next launch.

Recently, in 2021 famous fashion house H&M were blasted for having Game Of Thrones Star, Maisie Williams, as their face for ‘Global Sustainability’. With her high following, as well as the shows, there is no denying the new clothing range would have barely been questioned.

Can We Make A Change?

Credit: EcoWatch

The fashion industry needs guidance.

Being pushed in the direction to create promotions that are fair and reflective of the business’s goals is a top priority. Furthermore, this will then reflect will for consumer trust in the brand. Misleading information needs to be thrown out, along with false advertising.

Misusing the terms ‘echo’ and ‘sustainable’, or ‘environmentally friendly’, unless these claims can be supported by evidence.

Unfortunately, it does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Even with enforcement from outside parties the industry does not want to give this marketing scheme away just yet.

Hopefully, with consumers pushing, as well as the fashion industry, in the near future, the change will finally come.

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