Photo by Jess @ Harper Sunday on Unsplash

Saving the earth and living sustainably is now a trend in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Eco-friendly buzzwords are everywhere, and vegan products are the new black.

While the influx of companies responding to the climate crisis is undoubtedly positive, it can be challenging to know whether one is buying into ‘greenwashing’ or being a responsible consumer.

Companies and organisations engage in greenwashing when they mislead consumers into believing that a product, service, or the organization itself is environmentally friendly or sustainable when it is not.

In light of this prevalent practice, consumers should do their research and ask questions. It is not enough to listen to the brand’s sales pitch. You should take a look at their website and read what they represent.

Check out these four ways to spot greenwashing in the fashion industry and be a more environmentally conscious consumer.

Find out who is making your clothes:

Companies publish more information about their suppliers but are less transparent about how they treat their factory workers. Over the last decade, numerous scandals have inflicted considerable damage on the reputations of companies. Among the examples is the collapse of Rana Plaza in the fast fashion industry.

Transparency of the supply chain is crucial. It is ethical for a clothing company to reveal more information about the welfare of their factory workers, from paying a fair wage to allowing unionization.

Do not fall for green buzzwords:

Some companies and products claim to be environmentally friendly by using terms such as “eco-friendly”, “recycled”, “sustainable”, “vegan”, or “conscious.” They will use these terms without explaining how they have achieved this status. You should check their website to see if they have provided more details. If they don’t, they’re likely greenwashing. 

Look for numbers, not words:

Make sure you check the brand’s website or social media for figures, stats, and data supporting their claims. An ethical clothing company will proudly display the appropriate information about their sustainable and ethical practices. 

Invest in brands with a comprehensive approach

Invest in brands that adopt a multi-dimensional approach by looking over a broader perspective rather than focus on individual issues. Sustainability-conscious companies integrate sustainability into everything they do – not just one collection or a few pieces.

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