I think we can all agree has almost become a trend, something to buy into, and this doesn’t make  me particularly happy. Firstly because the word sustainability is losing its meaning as it’s now  used everywhere, secondly because it shouldn’t be a trend or a special feature in a product, it’s a  whole different way of doing things. And for a lot of brands, to be truly sustainable, their whole  business model has to change, or else they’re just greenwashing.  

You’ve probably guessed which brands I’m talking about: the well known fast fashion chains. In  this short article I’ll be looking at simple ways to identify brands who greenwash so you can avoid  them (and call them out) Greenwashing happens when a company puts more effort in marketing their sustainable efforts  than in actually making progress towards sustainability. Basically they just want you to think  they’re sustainable when in reality they haven’t improved much. The first thing ‘green washers’ do  is using pictures of nature and words that have no legal definition like ‘eco friendly’ in their  advertisements. This is clearly greenwashing when they don’t explain what exactly makes their  products sustainable – without evidence, how can a consumer make informed decisions? The  second thing I really despise is when fashion brands make one ‘sustainable collection’ that makes  up 5-10% of their whole production line. If you have the resources why aren’t all your garments  sustainably made? And what impact does your sustainable collection have if you produce millions  of unsustainable clothes each year? Also I’m sure you’ve noticed brands claiming to be  sustainable because they use sustainable materials, with no mention of who makes their clothes.  This is greenwashing, true sustainability must include social and environmental aspects, it  requires a holistic approach. Lastly, brands should be able to back up their claims with  certifications (such as bluesign, GOTS and fair-trade) and reliable facts and figures. If they can  prove their claims, actions will speak louder than words. To summarise, a brand to be sustainable  must consider both social and environmental aspects of production, must not create huge  amounts of waste and must provide proof when making sustainable claims. One last tip: check  the Good on you app to see how sustainable a brand is! Happy (responsible) shopping!


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