The average shopper is trying to be more sustainable today. They're looking for environment-friendly options and buying consciously. While that's something to be happy about, it has also lead to a rise in 'greenwashing'. You see, marketers are very much aware of this change. So more often than not, instead of making products more sustainable, they make their advertising more 'sustainable'.
Greenwashing means making consumers believe you are doing more for the environment than you really are. This includes vague claims, misleading information and marketing tactics that lead consumers to believe that a brand is a sustainable one.
With, many brands jumping on the bandwagon and launching a 'green' range, it can be overwhelming to know who's actually putting in the good work and who, just a coat of green paint. Here are 7 things you can check for to be more sure:1. Tangible claims Vs Vague phrases
Any brand that's greenwashing does so by dodging real facts and replacing them with terms like natural, organic-based, consciously-made. Instead of these vague terms that you can't hold them accountable for, look for tangible claims like 96% recycled material, made from organic cotton, 50% biodegradable etc.
Moreover, a brand that's greenwashing will rarely be direct and transparent.If finding ingredient breakup or the exact raw material is an uphill task, there is usually something wrong.
P.S. Here's what Arture products are made of. Look for information like this that will tell you exactly how much of your product is natural.
A brand that's greenwashing is doing so to prompt a purchase. Hence, a greenwashing brand will end its efforts after a purchase. Once an item is bought, they'll usually not be a part of the discarding process, recycling, up-cycling etc.However, almost all truly sustainable brands, don't just make sustainable products but are also conscious of the waste they create and take responsibility for it.
Sustainability is not just about nature. It's also social. Look at the social cost, or the social impact of producing a good. Is it made locally or in a foreign sweatshop? Is that company known for lower wages and harassment? If multiple communities are harmed in the process of making even a natural product, it is not sustainable.4. Certifications - Reading the fine line
The easiest way to judge a "green" claim is via certifications. While these are mostly legit, do understand that there are many certifications out there - some issued by the government, some by NGOs, and some by third party companies. Those by government authorities, non-profit organizations, or well known private organizations are more trustworthy.
There are also many universal symbols that indicate different levels of plastic, petroleum or recyclability. Understanding what these stand for is a good practice when shopping sustainably.
5. Packaging - Sustainable things come in small packages
Believe it or not, the packaging is kind of a big deal when it comes to sustainability. If you're ordering organic food and it's delivered to you in heaps of plastic and wrapping, it's pretty much defeating the purpose. Go for minimal or no packaging and when you have to, opt for natural materials like paper, or cloth.
Pro tip: A lot of greenwashing brands go for a sustainable 'aesthetic'. This might mean earthy, neutral colours or green trees and symbols on the packaging. Don't just judge a product by the visual, but what the actual material of the packaging is.
How long a product lasts and how it performs during its lifetime is an important measure of sustainability. If it’s made cheap, or in a way that it renders broken or unusable very soon it’s not very sustainable.Instead products crafted to be durable, long-lasting are better choices.
7. Background check your brands
Similarly, a product that is high maintenance requites a lot of washing (water wastage) or electricity, is again not as sustainable as it may seem.
A background check on the company can also reveal how trustworthy the 'green' claims are. Look for PR coverage and news articles covering their claims (or complaints).
Also, most sustainable brands will have a number of social initiatives going on and not just one. Look for other initiatives, apart from their "green" product. Are they supporting another community, do they have an up-cycling wing?
Lastly, a truly sustainable brand will proudly reveal information and be transparent. The more (positive) information you can find on their practices and initiatives, the more likely they are to be living up to their claim.
So put us to the test. Get to know us better
Happy green shopping!
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