An explosion of products that claim to be ‘fresh’, ‘clean’ and ‘natural’ have flooded the market along with misleading labels, packaging and manipulative marketing campaigns, BioBunnies investigate: What does it actually mean to ‘Go Green’?
The Grey Reality of Greenwashing.
In my previous blog (check it out here Love Your Skin. Love Our Planet.) I highlighted the dangers of unsustainable farming and mining of natural resources and the devastating affects that this has caused on our ecosystems, depleting of natural resources and labour exploitation around the world. The primary reason being that shady companies among us, who want to jump on the ‘natural’ product bandwagon to increase sales, actually take very little care over our planet in the process. During my research, I came across this word ‘Greenwashing.’ It was a term I had never heard of before, so all in the name of research, I was determined to find out the facts!
The word Greenwash was originally born from the word Whitewash. A word often used throughout history in connection with politics, often when referring to dictatorships or authoritarian states. The dictionary definition reads as follows:
Whitewash: A deliberate attempt to conceal unpleasant or incriminating facts about a person or organization in order to protect their reputation.
At the beginning of the 80’s the term greenwashing truly began to emerge, as more and more corporate companies began making outrageous sustainable claims and using cleverly constructed marketing campaigns to cover up very questionable environmental ethics. In other words, shocking environmentally unsustainable practices went hidden behind green and glossy ad campaigns. Fortunately, as the term Greenwashing obtained more and more exposure, so did the truth of the companies hiding behind their manipulative marketing techniques and by the end of the decade the word had officially made its debut alongside it’s old pal whitewashing. The dictionary definition reads as follows:
Greenwash: Disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.
So in other words, companies using green PR to deceptively promote an organization’s products, values or policies as environmentally friendly, when in reality they couldn’t be further from the truth.
Marketing over Morals.
In recent years, as consumer preferences to use natural products has increased, unfortunately, so has the use of the term greenwashing. The continuingly glossing over of product ingredients are promoted by labels and buzz-words such as ‘fresh’ ‘green’ and ‘clean’. Natural products from mass manufacturing companies have consistently come under speculation for using synthetic preservatives to extend product shelf life, potent synthetic fragrances, crazy colouring derived from burning coal and the use of PVC (the world’s most damaging plastic environmentally and health wise) in their ‘eco-friendly’ packaging. The real wolves in sheep’s clothing are those companies that go as far to name multiple products as ‘natural’ after adding simply a single drop of natural ingredient to their nasty mixture of petrochemicals.
Within the world of cosmetics it is seemingly even trickier to define what is natural, clean or fresh because there is actually no clear cut definition, and as a result manipulative brands can take advantage of that. They don’t have to be certified before writing conscious consumer buzz-words in pretty green font alongside a visually pleasing flower on their labels and deem them ‘natural’ products. Companies can get away with this time and time again until their products may, or may not be, properly investigated.
There is no denying the fact, that it is extremely sad that we live in a world where we can’t trust mainstream brands that proclaim to be natural, eco-friendly and clean when they continue to use nasty ingredients, plastic packaging and unsustainable practices. However, here at BioBunnies, we have come to the realisation that the best way to know, and importantly trust, if a product is as natural as it possible can be, is to look into their companies core values, credentials and ethos.
By representing and providing our customers with brands that don’t hide behind glossy ad campaigns but embrace their mission to provide the highest standard of natural ingredients with the utmost respect for nature from the beginning to the end of each and every product’s life, we can rest easy at night knowing our partner brands have indeed chosen a moral compass over marketing ploys.