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What is greenwashing in fashion

Brands are making big environmental claims, but with only a small range of sustainable products, their eco-friendliness is in question. Here is how to spot greenwashing in Fashion and other businesses

The term sustainable fashion is gaining popularity and that is why more brands are associating themselves with this trend. However, the question is how authentically sustainable are they?

Some of them may genuinely be sustainable but there are some brands that only portray an image of being an ethical brand. These brands may just be greenwashing their customers.

Textile waste

The fashion industry is continuously making and replacing new trends, the speed at which they are doing it is leading to huge textile waste.

Most fashion brands do not even hold themselves responsible for treating the waste. The sustainability add-on, in this situation is nothing but a distraction from the critical issue of mindless consumerism and climate crises.

The fashion industry is not willing to tackle the problem holistically but instead by introducing a so-called sustainable collection it is damaging the ecosystem even more.

The sustainability claims made by fast fashion brands does not guarantee reforms in the outsourced factories for reasonable wage or improved working conditions.

Greenwashing in fashion

Greenwashing has become widespread amongst major fashion brands, and it can be difficult to identify them.

However, the rule of thumb would be to assess whether the sustainability claims are part of their business model or just an extra line in their unethical sea of fashion waste.

To be more certain, it’s better to look at facts and numbers than take their word for it. Look at the tags on the clothing to check the percentage of recycled materials used in the product.

Some brands endorse greenwashing with the use of materials that are apparently degradable like viscose, rayon and bamboo.

In such cases it is important to know how the materials were sourced, to understand if their claim is authentic.

Since bamboo is degradable but is exposed to pesticides, it can in-fact be an insidious polluter, making the perfect case for greenwashing.

Viscose also needs to be extracted from a verified source otherwise it can be a contributor to deforestation.

Look for authentic certificates that confirm an accepted standard across the supply chain and reports that inform the reader about the treatment of the factory workers across the globe.

How to stop greenwashing

It is important for brands to improve their supply chains and use innovation to fulfil the cause of sustainability. Switch to organic cotton and recycle discarded textile.

If more businesses adapt to this approach and spend more on research and development, they can benefit their company in the long run by increasing margins and decreasing costs. 

The good news is that the fashion industry is witnessing emerging brands that are already adapting to sustainability by doing noteworthy R&D innovations.

Author

Sanober Jakhrani

Sanober Jakhrani

Sanober is our Content Marketing Specialist at Pinfluencer.io. She cares deeply about sustainability and environmental issues and wants to connect as many marketers with Pinfluencer to do our bit to accelerate the global shift in consumer behaviour.

Author

Sanober Jakhrani

Sanober Jakhrani

Sanober is our Content Marketing Specialist at Pinfluencer.io. She cares deeply about sustainability and environmental issues and wants to connect as many marketers with Pinfluencer to do our bit to accelerate the global shift in consumer behaviour.

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