Eco-friendly is the new frontier of marketing. Even if frequently misleading, it is an effective strategy. So far, the logic is ‘fake it till you make it.’ Or worse, just fake it. That’s enough for people to buy your product.
In a conversation about clothes, a friend of ours said: “all brands now make eco-friendly garments.” That with a tone of appreciation. Her statement meant there’s no need to pay any further attention to products you buy. You can trust the advertising messages since the eco-offer is wide and meaningful.
If brands promote their garments as eco-friendly or sustainable, people take those statements for granted. In the case of fast fashion as well. A tag or an advertising campaign with magic words induce people to take sustainability slogans as absolute truth. They have no doubts. And they do not feel the need to know more, compare and question.
At least two aspects emerge from that.
First, it means that marketing works well. People buy whatever gets packed up with the right slogan. Fake or real, consumers don’t take it into account.
Second, in a world dominated by social media language, the art of reasoning is lost. You don’t have to make the effort of reading the full article. Titles are enough, slogans too.
Sustainability and critical thinking
Depressing, isn’t it?
If people don’t read, we cannot expect they have ever heard about greenwashing.
But what about that minimum level of critical thinking that each individual should possess? That analytical sense we should develop in order to be able to discern.
According to a report released by Changing Markets Foundation, about 60% of sustainable fashion claims are greenwashing.
We are citing this report to give an idea of how widespread the practice is. But that’s not truly the point. Even before seeing the numbers, it’s important not to swallow everything. Otherwise, critical thinking is dead.
Thoroughly knowing the reality is very complicated, yet we can analyse it. Conscious individuals don’t stop at advertising or ‘media-fabricated mould’ – as Naomi Klein calls it in her brilliant book, No Logo.
We ponder and break the mould.