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How to spot Greenwashing

the word Greenwashing on a green dot

mimycri has always been devoted to sustainability. We decided to use existing materials for our bags because we believe in giving old resources a new chance.

Since sustainability has become more “trendy,” a lot of brands and companies have started to speak up and implement sustainability into their practices. But what is really behind that?

Sometimes it can be hard to know whether a brand is actually trying to change or if they are just making empty claims to attract more customers. Are they really being active or are they just greenwashing? These five checkpoints can help us to spot the difference:

1. Definition

“Greenwashing is the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of an organization or the environmental benefits of a product or service.”

This definition comes from Sustainable Fashion Matterz and it sums it up pretty well. When it looks like a company is just telling us about their super sustainable practices to convince us to buy their products, chances are they are really greenwashing and don’t care as much about the environment.

2. Transparency

If companies really want to be more sustainable they need to openly reflect on all of their procedures. Things to look out for can include: Do they provide numbers about their sustainable practices? Do they tell us how these numbers compare to more unsustainable alternatives? Are they specific about their sustainability goals? It is not enough to be loud about one small change while leaving most of the supply chain untouched and in the dark.

3. Accountability

The road to sustainability is long and no one can achieve perfection overnight. This process comes with constant self-reflection and re-adjusting. If a company is really committed to the cause, they should provide updates about where they stand in their transition to sustainable practices, where they still fall short, and how they plan to tackle that. If we cannot find any of this info, we have to wonder if they are really in it for the long term or if they just want a quick revenue boost.

4. Transformation

A very essential part of creating change is profound internal and external transformation. Sure, any action has some kind of effect but if companies really want to make an effort they should tackle more than just one detail. For example, if a brand is bragging about its use of sustainable materials but still encourages us to consume and throw away products at a rapid pace, then it is not seeking overall systemic transformation.

5. Substantive Action

Transformation goes hand in hand with substantive action. We need to watch out for brands that only launch symbolic products or campaigns because they want to take part in a trend or make profit off of someone’s activism. If they truly support the cause they should be committed long-term. So we need to check if a company has been supporting sustainable practices and is planning to do so in the future or if they are just jumping on the bandwagon.

Even we at mimycri know that it can be difficult to check all of these points and that full sustainability is a journey. Although we reuse materials, implement sustainability guidelines and provide information about transparent pricing, we know that we are not at the end of the road. We are constantly reflecting to come up with even more sustainable ways! 🌱🌏

Source: own knowledge & experience, Sustainable Fashion Matterz


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