It’s Time To Talk About Greenwashing!
It seems that within the last few years major brands and retailers have jumped on the green or organic bandwagon that actually appear to be greenwashing. Though it is good to see this push to go green, it seems that there is a lack of awareness of what is truly “natural” or “organic”.
We’ve enlisted our founder and green beauty expert, Jess, to explain what greenwashing is, how to spot it for yourself and remind us all to do our own research and not just believe the marketing hype.
Jessica Kiely: It’s very easy to think that if a product has got the word ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ on it, it represents green beauty and is good for you. However, that’s not the case. There’s a concept named ‘greenwashing’ where brands are jumping on the bandwagon of looking green and sounding green but actually, they are not. When you turn them around for the ingredients, it’s completely opposite to what they claim.
Did you know? According to TerraChoice Environmental Marketing, only 2% of products labeling themselves as green are completely legit in their claims. The remaining 98%, not so much.
For instance, the brand Organic Care promotes itself as being organic, natural, SLS and Paraben free. On the bottle, their product says it’s replenishing, soft and contains shea butter. However, in reality, 60% of it is water that you’re paying for and the shea butter is less than 1%. Furthermore, there is not one organic ingredient listed.
The problem here is that there is no legal definition or policy around using the word ‘organic’. It can be considered simply as a descriptive word. It’s the same issue with using the term ‘natural’. So there’s no policy around using it on a product at all and even to the point that it’s not necessarily considered to be misleading. But of course, now they can say “we’re SLS free, we’re paraben free, we’re plant-based”, etc.
That’s what we call greenwashing! From a consumers’ point of view, it can be really disheartening. You could start to wonder “how the hell am I suppose to choose something that is actually healthy for me?” The answer is, you have to find sources that you can rely on to make the switch.
So remember, the things that claim to be ‘all natural’ or ‘organic’ are not always good for you.