By Sharon Victoria
We recently celebrated world environmental day on June 5th and it was another opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the environment around us and come up with solutions to the current environmental problems. In light of that, we shall be talking about green washing, a big environmental hazard which has been a main concern of late.
In today’s world, environmentalism and environmental consciousness has been a hot topic of discussion that consumers are more drawn to sustainable products and companies. Due to this, companies have resulted to deceiving their consumers by green washing so as to still thrive in the market.
Greenwashing is the practice of misleading people into believing that a company and its products are sustainable and environmentally friendly when, in reality, they are not. This is usually done by placing misleading labels that claim the products are environmentally friendly, fake claims of supporting green initiatives.
Greenwashing has negative consequences for both the consumers and the environment. To begin with, it destroys consumer trust by manipulating them to take the sustainable route and in turn, the genuine sustainable markets face unfair competition and may also lose consumers on claims of greenwashing. The presence of these practices hinders the progress that many are trying to make so as to have a sustainable future thus derailing the plan of a better future.
The culprits of this vice are usually either in the food industry or the fashion industry. For the food industry you can get labels showing “organic” but you will miss the ingredients used or at times they omit the toxic chemicals used. In the fashion industry, fast fashion brands may promote clothing lines made from sustainable materials, but in turn it involves excessive emission of waste and exploitation of their workers.
To do away with greenwashing, companies need to practice transparency and accountability. Government regulations should also be strengthened and they should ensure that green claims are verified and standardized.