"Greenwashing" is a term that gets thrown around when a brand makes grandiose claims about being environmentally friendly, but those claims often turn out to be more smoke and mirrors than substance. Now, sustainability is all the rage these days. Just look at the surge in Google searches for terms like 'climate action' and 'climate emergency,' which skyrocketed in 2019. Then, 2020 happened, and the COVID-19 pandemic forced some of us to slow down and take a closer look at our relationship with nature. I personally care about being able to be proud of the goods we make at Summerfield, the ability to be transparent and make goods I want in my own household. I found the term "greenwashing" when I realized how many candle companies are unwilling to be transparent about the wax and ingredients they use. For example, Bath & Body Works, Yankee Candles, Hotel Collection.
Here's the twist: Along with this heightened awareness of the environment, there's been a surge in companies jumping on the 'eco-friendly' bandwagon. It's like everyone suddenly decided to be environmentally conscious, which sounds great, right? Well, not so fast. For many of these brands, their eco-friendly claims might be more of a marketing ploy than genuine commitment – and that's where greenwashing comes in. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, greenwashing is all about "behavior or activities that make people believe that a company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is." At its worst, it means companies are flat-out lying about how green their products are. At best, it's brands who might not fully grasp the nitty-gritty of sustainability or the complexities of their supply chain.
Now, here's a fascinating tidbit: A recent international study by Unilever found that a whopping 33% of consumers are deliberately choosing brands they think are doing some social or environmental good. That's a massive chunk of the market, folks. And it translates to a colossal $1 trillion in market opportunities for brands that can effectively communicate their eco-friendly creds. So, there's a real hunger out there for sustainable brands, and companies are eager to hop on the bandwagon.
Greenwashing isn't just a harmless marketing trick it also misleads the public, making them think they're buying something that's better for the planet when, in reality, it might not be. And it's like a roadblock on the path to genuine sustainability and the fight against climate change. Plus, it makes it tough to spot the brands that are actually putting in the effort to be eco-conscious in a market that's already jam-packed.
So, the next time you see a brand touting its green credentials, remember that not all that glitters is gold. It's essential to look beyond the marketing hype and scrutinize their actions and practices to separate the genuine eco-warriors from the greenwashers. Choose a transparent brand that gives you an idea of how things are made and their ingredients.