Sustainability is not a legally protected term. Thus, any company can call itself sustainable, regardless of whether it really acts in a fair and environmentally friendly way. Accordingly, it is very difficult to distinguish between greenwashing and real sustainability. Nevertheless, nowadays, it is even more important to be informed and educated as a consumer. One indicator is transparency, which is significantly compromised by greenwashing. So how can you protect yourself from manipulative activities to make truly ecologically and socially relevant decisions in everyday life?
Transparency means the disclosure of the value chain. From the extraction of raw materials and their further processing to the naming of production sites. Open and comprehensible communication of information to the outside world is essential. Transparency is not a static state, but a continuous process with the aim of ensuring honest disclosure of all work and production processes.
Greenwashing, on the other hand, refers to PR and marketing measures that make either products or entire companies appear green. An impression that does not confirm reality conveys a distorted ethical and fair action of the company. False and unsubstantiated claims serve solely to build up the company's image.
What is the difficulty?
Generally applicable guidelines, which are inadequately defined in the fashion industry, stand in the way of transparent processes. The consumer is informed, but is not given an overview of the meaning and context of the statements, making conscious purchasing decisions increasingly difficult. Those imprecise statements tend to confuse rather than enlighten. Greenwashing measures exploit this confusion and deliberately lead consumers down false paths. This is because it is usually impossible for consumers to differentiate between transparent information and empty statements.
So what can you do to avoid being manipulated by false claims?
1. Take a holistic view of the product and the company's philosophy.
If you want to buy a product and you are not sure if it is really sustainable or if the company is just greenwashing, it helps to look at the product holistically. Means: Often only one point of the product is discussed to distract from other aspects. Your research should focus on the material, production conditions, social and ecological use.
2. Be critical of the published information.
Do you doubt the published information or perhaps do not understand its meaning? If this is the case, then make sure you focus on your own research. Internet sites such as Nachhaltige-Deals can help you with this. Nachhaltige-Deals is a great platform for sustainable products as well as deals. In a world of unlimited opportunities full of greenwashing activities, Nachhaltige-Deals can quickly and easily help you find environmentally and socially valuable products and alternatives.
3. How important is transparency in the end?
While transparency does not yet guarantee greater control of the fashion industry, a milestone has been made by the demand for it. Transparency truly has the potential to shape and revolutionize the fashion industry in the future.