Greenwashing in fashion marketing and how its practice affects brands. The care and preservation of the environment have become very important in the United States and many other countries worldwide. Awareness about climate change and good practices in favor of improving ecological conditions is increasing, a cause many companies join in.
The role of the human being in society is broad and includes environmental and ecological responsibility, to which we have given special attention in recent years.
But companies, brands, and industries do not escape this area. And rightly so, given the activities that they carry out. In most cases, highly polluting actions occur, which is why everybody is seeking a way to reduce consumption rates that affect the environment and health considerably. Now going for much more responsible and sustainable options for the environment and society.
This search has resulted in brand strategies to spread to consumers the values and social responsibility of the organization. However, in the attempt to give an eco-friendly image that arises from the trend and consumer pressures, they often make the mistake of communicating environmental practices that they don’t really put into practice or that are not entirely correct.
This activity is called “Greenwashing.” It is related to non-existent ecological or pro-environment practices by a company to show itself to the public as a sustainable brand that works with non-polluting processes wem they are everything but.
Greenwashing is a marketing strategy a monarch company applies to show itself to the public as a responsible organization committed to the environment.
What is Greenwashing?
But let’s define more concretely what Greenwashing is.
The word greenwashing is a derivation of whitewashing (money laundering) but with a green connotation to link it with the environment. This term, which is nothing new, emerged in the 1980s when the environmentalist Jay Westerveld reported that hotels promoted the reuse of towels to avoid washing them daily and thus save water and contribute to the environment. This was just a marketing strategy since, in reality, they did not fulfill the health policies.
Greenwashing is a marketing strategy companies, industries, and brands apply to give an image of responsibility toward the environment. And to let people know that the processes they maintain in that place seek to preserve the ecosystem and avoid environmental damage and pollutants for the planet and society when in reality, none is true.
This strategy represents a deception for the public because nothing exposed and disseminated is real. It is only a way to sell an image and be in line with social, business, and environmental responsibility practices they are not performing.
Currently, greenwashing is perceived as a bad marketing practice, One that misinforms and misleads the consumer by wanting to show an image based on non-existent ecological practices that do not have a positive impact on the planet.
Ways of applying Greenwashing
There are various ways in which someone can implement Greenwashing strategies. So we will tell you about them, so you understand how it works.
It is the strategy through which it seeks to convey to the public an image of the company’s commitment to the environment through the use of green graphic elements.
It is simple for the public to connect the company with sound environmental practices and in favor of caring for the planet and, consequently, environmentally responsible when they really are not.
Highlight ecological practices that the company doesn’t follow, such as recycling, and non-polluting processes, among others, to give an image that works respecting the environment.
Meeting legal requirements
By law, companies must comply with specific parameters to contribute to the preservation of the environment. However, this does not make them ecological, even if they want to make it appear that they are.
Modifying the name of products
Or also adding phrases to containers or labels alluding to caring for the planet. Such as eco-friendly, bio, natural, green, or organic.
Using ambiguous words
An example is when they say a product or garment is recyclable when we don’t know if this will be true in the future.
Adding eco images
Allusive logos and images are directly related to nature, ecology, the environment, etc.
This means that, when seen, the product is associated with this practice.
The same applies to seals that lead one to think that it is a product certified as sustainable or ecological when it does not even have the certification issued by an official body.
Offering products as sustainable
Many brands market products as if they were 100% sustainable, with only a tiny part of the materials meeting this distinction.
Likewise, some companies promote themselves as pro-environmental manufacturers with processes that take care of the environment, not complying with this premise.
Using technical terms to confuse
The use of technical language that a person often does not understand causes the wrong impression regarding the processes carried out in a company. So, thanks to this, there may be confusion and false belief that a brand’s practices are sustainable because of this type of language.
Goal of Greenwashing
The purpose of this practice, which is not new, even more so in recent years, is to improve the image of a company or brand in the eyes of consumers and the general public.
All to make them seem like an industry whose manufacturing or confection is attached to the strictest ecological and environmental standards and is 100% sustainable.
All this is based on misleading advertising, also seeking to increase sales and income, thanks to the greenwashing strategy. And this makes the population believe that the company’s policies are based on respect and good practices in pro of the environment.
Greenwashing in fashion
In fast fashion, disrespect for the environment is the norm. Since this method of making clothes quickly to issue collections constantly is very common lately, it is said that the fashion industry Fashion represents one of the most polluting items in the world.
Given this, many brands want to confront it by including the words conscious, organic, and sustainable, among other similar words, on their labels and advertising. To show that they are committed to protecting the planet and that their practices and raw materials are far from abuse and environmental pollution.
Another aspect in which the Greenwashing strategy is present is when a company states that it works for sustainability through its words, statements, or communications. However, in reality, they only comply with the minimum parameters demanded, and their productions are on a large scale that affects the planet and contributes, on the contrary, to climate change.
Consequences of Greenwashing in the fashion industry
As we have said, Greenwashing is a marketing strategy with deceptive and non-transparent purposes, which seeks to create a false image of a company or brand concerning its environmental behavior. Since it wants to make people believe they meet high standards in the practice of sustainable activities.
This affects the fashion industry to the extent that there needs to be clearer and more precise information about the processes and raw materials used to manufacture clothing. If a brand makes itself look ecological, it will likely attract a large number of people to consume that product, increasing sales and production to meet demand, thus increasing pollution.
Visibility and opportunity are also reduced for the brands that comply with these guidelines. And that have been a reliable and sustainable alternative before these fast fashion brands. They are undermining the efforts to create fashion from awareness and respect for the environment.
By applying a Greenwashing strategy, on the one hand, the consumer is deceived. On the other, the contamination of rivers and streams, high pressure on the use of land and water, the dumping of waste, and the precarious conditions work of farmers and industrial workers are promoted.
How to recognize if a company practices Greenwashing?
Lack of evidence
There is the omission of data, or the information they provide is not verifiable, about whether or not a product is made under sustainability standards and whether it is environmentally friendly.
Use of false labels
All to show that the products have approval and guarantee they were made under sustainability.
Omission of all information
The products are marketed as if they were 100% ecological, and aspects or materials that are not and cause an impact on the environment are hidden.
Echo that the company carries out positive or adequate environmental practices when they don’t. And on the contrary, the activities are far from environmental preservation or considered illegal and want to give the wrong impression.
How to avoid Greenwashing?
Companies have in their hands the responsibility to provide truthful information that allows verifying its authenticity. To confirm that they adhere to correct environmental and ecological practices. And above all, make sure they show themselves as a transparent company sincere with their activities.
Combating Greenwashing will depend on the company and the measures it takes, for which it is also necessary:
Ensure that what is manifested and shown through slogans, among others, is genuine information and can be verified.
Avoid introducing words like eco, green, and natural.
Do not allude or insinuate that the products benefit the environment.
Both the values of the company and its culture must go hand in hand.
Show transparency through its communication media with information that demonstrates environmental commitment.
To avoid dishonest practices in your brand or company, go to the professionals at Blucactus. They will provide you with the best tools and help you grow your brand transparently and effectively.
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Keywords: Greenwashing, strategy, marketing, fashion, industry, practice, environment, ecology, goal.