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Vocab Class: greenwashing

n. green·wash·ing |ˈgrēn-ˌwȯ-shiŋ

1 behavior or activities that make people believe that a company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is (Cambridge Dictionary)

Ever see a shampoo in a green container labeled "natural" that contained parabens, synthetic fragrance and sodium laurel / laureth sulfate? That's greenwashing. We've seen it take many forms in the fashion industry over the years. Here are a few ways to spot greenwashing apparel brands:

  1. Making claims without any certifications to back it up
  2. Hiding unsustainable business practices behind a sustainable product or goal (i.e. making shirts out of recycled bottles in a factory that uses child labor and unpaid overtime)
  3. Using buzzwords with no legal or certifiable definitions like "natural," "conscious," or "pure." (As opposed to GOTS-certified organic, Fair Trade Certified, etc.)

Want to learn more about our efforts? Head over to the YES AND sustainability page.


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