In 1999 the Oxford Dictionary defined greenwashing as the “disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.” Now, twenty years later, it seems like everything is greenwashed! It's great that doing right by Mother Earth is trending, but how do we avoid getting hoodwinked by companies just trying to profit off the trend? Here are my top 3 methods.
- Know the producers. Whether it's a farmer or a seamstress, knowing who produced your goods and being able to talk to them is the best way to establish trust. Understanding the complexity of what it means to produce sustainable goods helps us all support each other on our journey to better the planet.
- Look for mission driven brands working to educate and make 'green' the new normal. Are you, as a consumer, being encouraged to consider the whole lifecycle of the products on offer?
- Look for the whole story. From material choice, to manufacture, to end use, better products feature more specific information about the full circle of production. If you still have doubts about a product you like, ask questions.
For a business to be sustainable, it has to be supported by three main pillars: people, planet and profits. With these pillars in balance, business can meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.
Share your tips to avoid greenwashing below, or ask us a question about how we are building our sustainable business.