Living sustainably is at most part means making environmentally conscious purchases. We are aware of the environmental impact our consumption habits have and more often than not, we are willing to pay a premium if it means going for the more eco-choice to balance this out. This is backed up by a Nielsen study saying that 66% of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands. Unfortunately, this truth and statistic is being abused by some companies and businesses by way of greenwashing.
Perhaps the simplest way to define greenwashing is when companies manipulatively appear green to make greens a.k.a. money. By way of marketing, advertising, and even packaging, brands are finding ways to trick consumers into thinking that their products all the way down to their business practices are environmentally responsible to deceitfully gain profit and brand love. This makes it difficult for us to pinpoint which brands and products are really who and what they say are. To help us all become better eco-shoppers and judgers (pun intended!), we here at Satori Revolution made a simple acronym to live by: CLAP!
● Check the claims
It’s not enough for brands to claim that they are eco-friendly and sustainable by way of placing a tree or any other element of nature in their artwork or using earth-tone colors in their packaging. If they’re not being specific and transparent enough with their claims, then that probably means they’re hiding something or cannot back it up. Note to self: If it’s broad, then it could be a fraud. If it’s specific, then go ahead and get it!
● Lay down the facts
By now, you’re used to doing a little bit of research when it comes to your purchases. After all, it comes with choosing to live a green lifestyle! Check out the company’s ‘About Us’ section on their website and trust us when we say if they are truly green, then they would love to go through all the details with you. Why wouldn’t they be proud of the good that they’re doing in the first place? Find out also what others are saying about them. It’s one thing for a brand to butter themselves up, but word of mouth from independent publishers and past customers would tell you if a brand is credible or not.
● Ask for certifications
There are at least 25 green business certifications to certify if a brand or product is eco-friendly. These certificates are given by reputable third-party green organizations who perform a series of tests to ensure accuracy. The certificate depends on the category the product falls under, but generally we want to look out for these seals in either their packaging, the product itself, or on their website. Do not be alarmed though if the small local business you love supporting does not have a certificate since applying for one is expensive! This brings us to the last and most important point...
● Peek at their practice
Look at the business practices and systems they implement from sourcing up until consumption to find out the environmental impact of said product or brand. You can do so by personally asking themselves, searching online, scanning their website (again, they should be transparent if they really are green), or tapping third party platforms to do the investigative work for you. For example, CodeCheck is an app that scans a product for you and gives you all the information you need in weighing out the positives versus the negatives. If you’re going grocery shopping, then it’s best for you to download HowGood, the world’s largest product sustainability database, to find out if the food you’re about to add in your cart has been good to the environment or not. Basically, they have to walk the talk!
It’s really sad to think that companies are taking advantage of the good eco-intentions of customers in order to make a profit. Do no beat yourself up if you have accidentally fallen prey to these tricks. Corporate greed indeed has no limits, but we as eco-warriors can help put a stop to this. Let’s show these companies and brands that we cannot be greenwashed anymore and we are becoming better eco-consumers who CLAP before they shop!
Photo from the beautiful @maanmarquez wearing our Zohra bodysuit in black ❤