According to an article in Vogue, when a company gives false or misleading information that their products are more environmentally friendly than they actually are, it is known as ‘greenwashing.’ This concept was first introduced in 1986 by environmentalist Jay Westervelt.
In this article, sustainable fashion industry leaders such as, Amina Razvi, executive director of Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and Harriet Vocking, chief brand officer at sustainability consultancy Eco-Age, provide their expert advice on ways to spot greenwashing in fashion and how to avoid buying into these misleading practices.
1. Numbers speak louder than words
Pay attention to the percentage of the product that is made from recycled materials. In addition, research whether brands have set out quantifiable goals to achieve sustainability.
2. Natural does not imply eco-friendly
Products that are natural may not be sourced in an environmentally-friendly way. For example, bamboo is a natural substance that can be grown with polluting substances such as pesticides and chemicals.
3. Vegan fashion products can be bad for the planet too
Vegan fashion items that are alternatives to leather and fur are often made from oil, which can have damaging effects on the environment.
4. The production line matters
The supply chain is important, including the way fashion brands treat their factory workers. Look out for brands that are transparent about their supply chain and production line.
5. Look for certifications
Certifications are an excellent way to verify that the claims a brand is making are fair and true.
6. Choose brands that follow a holistic approach to fashion
According to Razvi, brands to invest in are those integrating sustainable practices into all facets of their business, from manufacturing to management.
You and your relationship with our planet
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