When looking at clothing producers, most are making their clothes in a way that is harmful to the environment. Many consumers are now becoming aware of these practices, and are trying to make more ethical choices. Sustainability has become a trend of sorts, and now clothing producers are trying to get in on it.  Many stores are trying to move towards greener initiatives, or, give the illusion that they are.  One company guilty of this is H&M, who re-launched their “Conscious” collection last year.  The collection has technically been around since 2012, but was reintroduced and advertised again recently, because again, sustainability is trendy right now.  The 2021 line was intended to be a message to other clothing manufacturers, to show that clean and repurposed clothing was possible, as their clothes were made from 100% organic cotton.  However, less than a year later, it’s been found that the claims made by H&M aren’t all that they seemed to be.  In research done by the Changing Markets Foundation, a company dedicated to bringing attention to irresponsible corporate practices, they found that 96% of the claims H&M made about their Conscious collection were false or misleading.  One of the biggest inaccuracies was the fact that their Conscious collection wasn’t in fact made from 100% organic cotton, but rather 20% organic cotton.  The Conscious collection was even found to have a larger percent of harmful synthetic materials than the regular collection, 72% to 65%, respectively.  The company also doesn’t disclose any actual information about their production processes, including where the materials were sourced.  This all goes to say that many companies, not just H&M, use wording and claims in their advertising that make their clothing appear to be sustainably made when it isn’t.   Unfortunately, these are the stores that are often the most accessible, so it’s difficult to avoid.  Thus, it’s important to take company claims of sustainability with a grain of salt, and double check your resources if looking to make sustainable swaps.  Every little bit helps.

5 thoughts on “Greenwashing”

  1. I just learned about the concept of greenwashing in my marketing class, and I had never heard about it previously. It’s crazy to think what companies will do for a profit, even with the risk of people finding out. The example of H&M is especially shocking, with having 96% of their claims misleading! It makes me wonder what other companies are doing the same.

  2. This is such a great callout! I love to support brands that have an environmentally friendly or philanthropic approach but I often question if the proceeds or materials of the product are true to what the company says. It is good to see companies especially big ones like H&M are being called out for their actions and having the news made public.

  3. I have supported Columbia clothing for a while now because I believe they are as environmentally friendly as they can get. I really like this idea!

  4. Hi Jessica,
    I think it is really cool that consumers are trying their best to make more ethical choices. I also totally agree with you that it is always important to check your sources.

  5. Wow, this is super shocking, and really hammers the point home about checking where you buy clothes from. Especially if they make claims about being sustainable, ethical, all that good stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *