GREENWASHING OR JUST PLAIN MISLEADING?
What's the difference?
You may have heard in recent news that major global high-street fashion brand, H&M, is being sued for 'Greenwashing Marketing' in a false advertising lawsuit.
For using misleading claims in its 'Conscious Collection'.
So what is Greenwashing?
Simply put, greenwashing is when a company gives a statement of fact that makes its seem like it is an environmentally-friendly company, when in truth it is not. A prime example of this is Shell, a national gas and oil company. It's heavy on advertising its 'green credentials' but these statements do not not live up to their claims. They claim they are moving forward, investing in renewable energy. Between 2010 and 2018 however, they invested only 1% of its long-term investments to renewable energy. If anything, they plan to actually increase their fossil fuel gas operations to more than half their businesses by 2030. They also claim to offset their carbon emissions with projects such as tree planting, but these projects account for less than a tenth of their current emissions.[1.]
The list goes on, and their numbers don't add up! In essence, it is simply just misleading propaganda.
The current lawsuit with H&M goes a step further than greenwashing, it "falsified information that did not comport with the underlying data"[2a.] "[...] in an attempt to target the growing segment of eco-conscious consumers who are willing to pay more for “sustainably-made” garments [...]"[2b.]
In short, H&M has lied to its customers in order to gain more sales.
A dress from H&M was claimed to have been made with 20% less water than average. However, an independent investigation revealed that the dress was actually made with 20% more! [2c.]
Time and time again, we see how complicated it can be to live more sustainably. Brands such as H&M and Zara are fast fashion giants that feed the environment crisis. However, at the same time, we need the huge mass of these global markets and its audiences to collectively make change.
Here's hoping this lawsuit makes people think twice about where they buy from, and what they are really buying.
Please be mindful that when it comes to making a purchase, people make choices based on their lifestyles. Especially in our current economy climate. Never force someone to boycott a company or bully them into what you may think is making the wrong choice. Bullying is never okay. We are all doing the best we can with our resources.
If you want to read more about the cases and claims, you can find the links below.
Thanks for reading, and have lovely weeks all!