what is greenwashing and why is it harmful?
The term Greenwashing was first coined by Jay Westerveld in 1986, and this is the definition of greenwashing - the phenomena of socially and environmentally destructive corporations, attempting to preserve and expand their markets or power by posing as friends of the environment.
Why is Greenwashing harmful?
1. Greenwashing affects sustainability – It almost halts the momentum we are trying to build towards making sustainable choices that help the earth and everything in the product value chain.
2. Greenwashing can damage a brand reputation - Customers don’t like to be cheated. So, when brands make false claims which later comes to light, it can affect the way people engage with the brand. There can also have potential legal implications that can further deplete the brand reputation.
3. All brands suffer – Greenwashing affects also brands that are trying to make a positive difference due to lack of consumer trust. This makes it even harder for such brands to reach out to the audience they are targeting and for customers to differentiate between the brands that are greenwashing and brands that are making a difference.
Demand of green, ethical, and sustainable business practices and brands are not a trend anymore, it’s the need of the hour. Whether is it a big behemoth or a small business, we have an obligation to bring real change toward environmental abuse and showing the correct information to all stakeholders. As consumers we need to educate ourselves and hold brands accountable for all their claims.
Remember, you are not just buying a new T-shirt, there is a whole story behind it, which you must demand to know.