04. Avoid Greenwashing Consumers
  • Provide clear evidence and proof to consumers when making sustainability-related claims.
  • Refrain from falsely declaring third-party verification or certification that have actually not been obtained.
  • Instead of showcasing attention-grabbing initiatives centered around reducing carbon emissions or waste at corporate headquarters, emphasize efforts to address waste and emissions throughout the supply chain, given that it constitutes the most significant proportion of carbon emissions and waste. For instance, some brands highlight sustainability efforts like phasing out single-use plastic items or providing tote bags to employees at the corporate headquarters only, which is often indicative of greenwashing. This should be avoided.
  • Steer clear from misleading consumers by showcasing ‘eco-friendly’ packaging prominently and as a primary strategy for reducing waste on the sustainability page to create the impression of waste reduction, especially when there is little to no information on your brands website about meaningful actions being taken to reduce waste throughout the entire supply chain.
  • Reference paying ‘fair wages’ without providing clear details about the definition and actual amounts workers receive. This can be misleading, especially as ‘fair wages’ may not equate to living wages.
  • State the avoidance of a practice or material that is either unconventional or already prohibited by law.
  • Promote a certified organic or sustainable range as a marketing strategy, when, in truth, the brand’s entire collection is predominantly mass-produced using cheap/unsustainable materials, and the sustainable range represents only a small fraction of their total production. This practice is frequently adopted by fast fashion brands with unsustainable business models.

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