3 Greenwashing Examples And Alternatives – Actually Shop Eco Friendly

greenwashing examples

Even if you’ve done everything you can to limit your own waste, it can become frustrating when big brands and corporations aren’t putting in the same effort. But, it can be even MORE frustrating when it seems like a corporation is contributing to environmentalism, but then you find out they actually aren’t. Or that their efforts are limited, or maybe that they put on a show in order to seem like they are doing more than they really are. This is called greenwashing: when a brand seems like they are making environmentalist efforts – but they really aren’t. This practice is actually more common than you think and there are some major greenwashing examples out there that you might not have caught onto. Let’s dive deep into it: what is greenwashing and what brands are prime greenwashing examples?

What is Greenwashing?

As mentioned, greenwashing is the act of a company or corporation fronting like their products are green or good for the environment, when they really aren’t. Most of the time, the use of natural or green terms, messages and images are used to convince consumers that they are more environmentally friendly than they really are. This can be done in packaging, in marketing and in so many other ways. Big corporations have been making so many environmental claims lately, but are they all true?

When shopping in-store or online, it can be really easy to see conflicting messages and fall for the greenwashing trap. Even highly known and recognized brands are jumping on the bandwagon and greenwashing their products, making it hard to know what is right and what isn’t.

Greenwashing Examples

 
 
 
 
 
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When it comes to companies who greenwash, the examples are endless. This Instagram post has 7 gigantic brands that have been caught out for greenwashing – most of which were met with lawsuits. But these are not the only examples, and it is very important to be a smart consumer, always asking questions and digging deeper.

Beauty

 
 
 
 
 
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Just this month, Kim Kardashian was hit with accusations of greenwashing with her newest skincare company SKKN by Kim. Her new beauty brand introduces “refills,” which, unlike other (actually sustainable) brands, come in plastic containers. The original version of the product comes in a big case (made of plastic), but then you can buy refills to put inside the case… also made of plastic. Why you wouldn’t just buy the refill to use in that case is beyond me, because what use does a big clunky case do for you, or for the environment? When it comes to the idea of refills in the beauty world, some companies actually have got it right. Companies like The Body Shop and Activist Collective have been using aluminum refill containers or packets, which is actually way more effective. Lush is also known for collecting back their black pots, which they mold back into new ones, plus you get a free face mask if you bring five in!

Fashion

 
 
 
 
 
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H&M is currently being sued over misleading sustainability marketing claims and confusing scorecards, according to Forbes. Recently, the fast fashion company released a “Conscious Collection” and a “Recycling Program” which were both quickly debunked and exposed online. Fast fashion companies like H&M often front as being environmentally friendly, while somehow still incredibly cheap, making it difficult for actually sustainable fashion brands to grow. Some examples of fashion brands that present and actually are sustainable are Girlfriend Collective, Parade, Pact and Reformation. Keep in mind though that real sustainable brands will be more expensive – because fast fashion brands like H&M can never truly be sustainable.

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@lowtoxlifeguard

Healthy things you didnt know were toxic part 1. News flash – ❌MRS MEYERS❌ is NOT a clean product! #lowtoxliving #foryoupage #fyp #lowtoxlifestyle #greenwashing #healthyliving #cleanliving #nontoxicliving

♬ original sound – Karin – Low Tox Health Coach

Home products like Mrs. Meyers have also come under fire for greenwashing, in more ways than one. When it comes to products that promote themselves as “clean” and “toxin-free,” it is important to look at their labels. Many TikTok users have pointed out that Mrs. Meyer’s products promote being clean, while they have “Fragrance” listed. When Fragrance is an ingredient on the list, it is a way for companies to hide ingredients, and potentially toxins that are in their products. Mrs. Meyers isn’t particularly eco-friendly either, which makes me want to stay away from it completely. I’d recommend brands like Dropps and Gelo which are introducing pods (which dissolve in water) into the home and cleaning world.

What other greenwashing examples should we cover? Let us know in the comments below!

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