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What Is Greenwashing? – And Why Are People Doing It?

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

What is greenwashing? We’re here to break it down for you. According to businessnewsdaily, Greenwashing is when a company purports to be environmentally conscious for marketing purposes but actually isn't making any notable sustainability efforts. So why do companies do it?

For one, they do it because they want to align themselves with a cause that others care about. They want to perpetuate this idea that they care about the environment in hopes of aligning themselves with that audience and resonating with them. Secondly, aside from good marketing and PR, they get HUGE government benefits if they appear to have sustainability efforts. In reality, a lot of these companies benefitting from this reductions and tax credits could care less about the impact they are having on the environment.

One repeated offender is none other than Sprite. They recently changes bottles from green to clear, and stated by doing this, they are allowing the material to be more recyclable. They have rolled this out to a number of countries and said this will have a huge impact on their sustainability mode. But is that true?

Considering only about 30% of plastic gets recycled, I would say this is all a PR move for them. As stated in this article, instead of finding ways to reduce single use plastic, they have simply tried to make the plastic more “recyclable”. This effort is just a drop in the bucket in comparison to the amount of plastic they produce.

Who else is the latest perpetrator? Kourtney Kardashian and global online fashion storefront, Boohoo. Their recent collaboration features an eco-friendly perspective, and she is one of their sustainability ambassadors, which is iconic considering Boohoo is a fast fashion brand, and Kourtney was recently fined for wasting water in the state of California during their water crisis. Not only that, but in the campaign itself, she uses vague language like “I thought about how pushing Boohoo to make some initial changes and then holding them accountable to larger change would be impactful” but we didn’t receive any insight into what these changes were.

Greenwashing is unacceptable and honestly unnecessary. If you want to make real change, then do it, but if you want a good PR stunt, leveraging the environment is not the way to go.

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