A Guide to Greenwashing So You Can Spot It and Shop More Consciously

by The Latch

Humans, by and large, do not enjoy trashing the planet. This is why greenwashing is a thing. If people weren’t hungry for sustainable products, then some manufacturers wouldn’t create environmentally friendly facades. These items wouldn’t go to the effort of misleading the public if nobody cared and nobody wanted them.

However, it’s worth noting that some products are actually putting in the hard yards. Instead of just saying that they’re doing the right thing by mother nature, they really are environmentally sustainable. 

So, with all of that in mind, how can you tell the truth tellers from the misleaders? How can you tell if a product is yanking your chain? Well, don’t fear. Here are some tips to help you work out if a product is greenwashed:

Is a Claim Third-Party Certified?

It can be pretty easy for a product to have a claim on its tag or bottle. Nevertheless, it’s a lot more difficult and dangerous to fake third-party certification.

Australian sustainability specialist, Lisa Heinze, previously told The Latch as much. She said that if an item makes a claim “you want to see some sort of proof.”

“Certification of organic cotton, for example, or accreditation by Fairtrade or Ethical Clothing Australia. The Good On You rating app can also tell you a lot of information about your favourite fashion brands.”

If You Can, Be Prepped to Spend a Bit More Cash

In the midst of this cost of living crisis, it can be difficult to fork over some extra dosh to get environmentally sustainable products. Nevertheless, if this is an issue that you super care about, you may have to. 

“If a product is cheap, it’s probably because it includes an element that’s been shipped halfway around the world,” said Rob Green, Co-Founder of COAT Paints. 

“That footprint isn’t acceptable anymore. We have to understand that buying sustainable products and taking the sustainable approach is unfortunately still more expensive.”

Beware of Hyperbole

Some industries currently can only do so much to become environmentally sustainable. Take for instance, disposable coffee cups or cars that gobble up petrol. According to academics at The Open University, while such products can reduce their carbon footprint, said footprint will still be monumental. 

However, this sometimes doesn’t stop such items from hyping up small green changes as revolutionary. This might trick you into thinking that a product is more environmentally friendly than it really is. It’s worth keeping this info in mind when you’re confronted with certain ads.

Suss Out the Upcoming Green Friday Sale

From November 18 – 21, The Latch is teaming up with Green Friday as part of their annual shopping event. What’s Green Friday? It’s a commerce event where every participating brand has completed an independent sustainability framework to be included. Their framework will be made public on their brand page so you as a customer can decide if you want to support them based on what is important to you.

“We can’t wait to showcase incredible Australian brands who are committed to being on their sustainability journey,” said Green Friday founder, Peter Krideras.

It’s worth noting that you should always do your own research before buying something from any retailer. Be that as it may, there will definitely be some rad stuff in the Green Friday sale that you’ll want to snag up.

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