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What is Greenwashing?

 

Do the words Brainwashing and Greenwashing sound familiar to you? What's more, do you think they have anything in common? Get ready, as we'll explain to you what they mean, how they relate to one another, and how several companies misuse them, as part of their scam marketing campaigns. In other words, how businesses deceive us all, increasing their profits, while neglecting the serious consequences of their wrongdoing on our environment.

HOW DID THE WORD GREENWASHING ORIGINATE?

First of all, you should know that languages are communication systems, which continuously evolve as a reflection of a given society. In fact, one could say that a language is a pragmatic form of communication in itself. Indeed, based on our communication needs, we create new words (neologisms), disregarding the ones that we no longer use (archaisms). By the way, for your information, the word "neologism", was a "new word" once too,  and was created as the result of the union of the Greek prefix "neo" (new) and the word "logos" (word). There are few different types of neologisms, which are classified according to the pattern followed upon origination.

 

Nowadays, many are the experts who refer to Greenwashing as "the new Brainwashing". Needless to say, Greenwashing arises from the union of the words green and washing, which in turn, take as an example the hitherto (better known and predecessor) Brainwashing; meaning persuasive  propaganda or salesmanship.

That being said, the recent inclusion of these terms in our lexicon, is a consequence of the global warming that has been threatening us over the last decades. In fact, it's common knowledge that we must promote sustainable development goals (SDG) which fortunately is becoming a growing trend. As is the case with Bullfeet, since we contribute in an ethical and responsible way to climate change. That's why our vegan shoes are entirely planet friendly, as both the materials and  production processes are 100% vegan and sustainable.

WHAT EXACTLY IS GREENWASHING?

Greenwashing is a marketing strategy employed by a number of companies to make consumers believe that their products are created according to sustainable policies and corporate social responsibility. Yet, the truth is that reality (in most cases) is far from what this sort of advertising campaigns promise. Read on to find out how to spot products and businesses employing Greenwashing as a standard practice. Pay close attention!

EXAMPLES OF GREENWASHING

Although you'd love seeing a few names, the list is endless, and it's far from our philosophy as a brand to discredit other corporations. On the contrary, our aim is rather simple: to help you identify those brands that fail in their efforts to reduce Co2 emissions and the resulting damage to the ecosystem. This way, the more you learn, the more you'll be able to spot them by yourself. You might be in for lots of unexpected surprises...

Take a look at the following video:

EFFECTS OF GREENWASHING

In terms of the direct consequences of Greenwashing, there are three main ones which are inter-related to one another. These are: Climate Change, Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming. If you want to go deeper into this topic, take a look at our blog: "There is No Planet B".

Some truly sustainable brands, afraid of seeming deceptive, choose to remain anonymous, giving rise to the phenomenon of "Greenblushing". At Bullfeet, contrary to what many promise, WE ARE TRULY SUSTAINABLE which is something we are very proud of. Thanks to all the customers who have trusted us from the begining we can continue creating our sustainable shoes and handbags. Our products are made using recycled materials such as plastic bottles from the ocean, recycled clothing destined to end up in landfills (among others), true to our philosophy of zero stock, zero waste.

 

HOW TO AVOID GREENWASHING

As a first step, you should read all about the brand itself. From its origins, to its core values, targets, manufacturing processes and so on. For instance; if they have an online site, the newsletters and blogs of a particular brand can shed a lot of light in terms of clues.

On the other hand, taking a few minutes to look at comparisons and customer's feedback, prior to purchasing your products, is really worthwhile. One does not want to be contributing to the worsening of our planet through brands misleading us by "Greenwashing". Besides, as the saying goes: "Do good without looking at who".

Beware!

greenwashing

 

  • Green marketing: Beware of green packaging, this colour is often associated with nature. A source widely used for profit-making purposes.
  • Words such as: sustainable, ecological, vegan, green or natural are not always a synonym of sustainability.
  • Watch out for product composition: Read labels carefully to get information of each ingredient and/or composition.

 

Few are the brands that, like us, can proudly boast of being 100% sustainable and free of animal abuse. As such, we understand that (given all the above), there is a lot of consumer scepticism due to the negligence of certain brands. Obviously this is not surprising... However, with your commitment and everyone's awareness, we'll soon be able to turn our backs on Greenwashing.

Whether you're thinking of setting up your own sustainable brand or you already have one, we advise you to be honest with your advertising campaigns. Avoid half-truths, as perhaps not in the short term, but surely, in the long term your image can be seriously damaged.

Alternatively, if you're a consumer looking to learn more about sustainability because you're concerned about the future of our planet, take a look at our blog post "What is Upcycling?". In our blog you'll find everything you need to know about this and other topics that have a lot to do with sustainable development. Feel free to contact us anytime as we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

In short, responsible consumption is something that benefits us all equally.

Ready to join?

The Bullfeet Team ®