Greenwashing and NY Fashion Week
More recently, you may have heard the term “greenwashing” used frequently. Many people don’t know what it means or are just hearing of it for the first time. And you’re not alone, before I started working with Fair Anita I wasn’t aware of what that meant either. But with New York Fashion Week just last week, a particular “sustainable” collection has come into question for greenwashing.
Firstly, what is greenwashing? Merriam-Webster defines greenwashing as “the act or practice of making a product, policy, activity, etc. appear more environmentally friendly or less environmentally damaging than it really is.” At Fair Anita, we explain it as a deceptive marketing practice that attributes sustainable and/or values to a brand/product that isn’t actually there. Often focuses on one green/fair aspect of a product and ignores all the negative aspects and practices.
So, why is all of this important and what does this have to do with celebrities? Shopping your values is very important to us, because believe it or not your money matters. How you spend your money shapes trends and what is acceptable in our world. A lot of companies have noticed the want for products that are earth safe but only a few actually have made real changes. While a lot have opted to slap on a green label and call it “sustainable” or “eco-friendly” without disclosing what practice makes it sustainable or eco-friendly.
So last week was New York Fashion Week, and a very notable fast fashion brand partnered with an even more notable celebrity to launch a “sustainable” line that makes up a tiny portion of the website. And the brand and partner in question won’t say what materials are sustainable or what makes the collection as a whole fit that category. While it is hard to completely avoid fast fashion due to various circumstances when you have the power and money to actually do the due diligence you should. Especially when you have a mass following who trust the products you back.
What if the products are actually sustainable? That would be a great step in the right direction if the practices behind it didn’t completely negate the product. Because even if it is a sustainable collection (which I’m not knocking), it is still not made fair. It is still being made by people working in unfair positions, making unlivable wages.
So, what do we do next? SHOP YOUR VALUES!!! We at Fair Anita continue to make jewelry that doesn’t break the bank but that you can take pride in knowing is being made ethically and with sustainable/recycled materials. And we aren’t alone in this; whenever you see a fair trade logo you can feel that same pride in knowing exactly where your money is going. We are not going to be able to completely avoid the false advertising, but we can do our best to call out the greenwashing we see and shop our values.