During the Research to write this article, some of the videos we wanted to share, were removed by youtube from its platform, to hide chemical pollution in Bangladesh, Kenya and India due to fast fashion production and pollution. There is a global tendency in youtube to delete human rights abuses by the fashion industry, we hardly have a glance of what is happening, and this level of deleting public health crimes in the top traffic platforms in internet, should make us all reflect in the freedom of speech and the freedom to think, which are harshly hit by the erasing of chemical pollution scandals in the digital platforms and newsrooms.
Massive pollution generated by the fashion industry is just getting bigger and bigger, a new Plastic Greenwashing Era has arrived, with biochemical pollution becoming a security threat for public health and the environment. A new relabelling of »recycled polyester» new generation of products, is invading the fashion industry, but generally it is not even recycled, its just new plastic, designed to be trash, a marketing strategy that has huge environmental impact for the future of public health.
Zara prints Join Life in some of its products, claiming that 25% or 30% of the polyester used in these garments is recycled. Zara does not give any clear information where does this supposed recycled polyester comes from, what controls are stablished to verify the recyclable fibers, and does not give the customer the information to verify any of its supposed sustainable practices.
WHAT IS GREENWASHING?
Greenwashing is a marketing strategy aimed to profile products and services as environmentally responsible, when they are not, and when in many cases they can even represent toxic and potentially be carcinogenic for the environmental and public health, but that generally means not offsetting environmental impacts, and it is one of the most profitable businesses or the new business model for most of the fashion industry.
Greenwashing strategies usually make consumers feel guilty for environmental issues and use this guilt to sell more products and services, supposedly representing an environmental solution.
The truth is, that if so many businesses are doing so much for the environment, the massive extinction of biodiversity will be stopped, and the climate crisis will be partially solved, also that they will share their recycling technology to support the cause, but unfortunately we never hear to share a wonderful recycling technology, because there is not one fabulous formula to recycle so much bad quality plastic based items.
The real scenario is that selling Plastic as an eco-material or sustainable material has diminished the consideration for natural fibers, and this new transformed relabeling, is meant to sell plastic for higher prices because it is the most profitable business right now in the fashion industry.
A fake environmental conscious, more toxic pollution than ever before and a market saturated of un-recyclable garments, that are not recycled, not sustainable and represent a long life business for the oil industry. This plastic greenwashing has led to the perception by citizens of »sustainable plastic» as a solution for the deep environmental crisis we face. But the crisis is being precisely fueled by all these plastic based fashion itself.
H&M with its consciouss line claims that many of its products have 100% recycled polyester. H&M doest provide any real information or traceability of the materials used, and most of this products are manufactured in China, where legal opacity is the norm.
DANGERS OF GREENWASHING
- TOXIC PROFIT It is used to maximize profits by selling plastic or products and services that have an environmental footprint that is toxic.
- HUGE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT It is a way to hide a non recyclable production, that pollutes the planet for centuries, creating an opposite storytelling, of the dramatic reality generated.
- HIDING HUGE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT Greenwashing has become a business model itself, maximizing profits while polluting, and hiding real environmental impacts.
- INTOXICATING LANGUAGE AND MESSAGES It has become a business as usual, with a more green showcase, intoxicating language and messages. Making the consumer believe plastic is sustainable and eco-friendly material, while helping diminishing other natural materials and helping to erase the knowledge and real innovation of other biodegradable and cheap materials.
- BLOCKS REAL SOLUTIONS WITH LESS PROFIT It hurts companies that offer products and services that are truly sustainable, inhibiting real solutions to the environmental crisis, acting as a carnivorous business environment. The more profit plastic based fashion companies make, the more they invest to control logistics, communication and traffic, to destroy the traditional or/and sustainable sectors in the industry.
- DIGITAL GREENWASING Most of the greenwashing is made in the digital sphere, hiding environmental crimes reports, sick people or environmental damage, while paying newsrooms and influencers to market toxic products and make the brands look cool, trendy and elegant. Great investments in all social media to make plastic based fashion brands look green companies.
Ecoalf sells plastic products as luxury garments claiming they are recycled. They supposedly pick up plastic bottles in Spain, Greece and Thailand, and recycled them, manufacturing their products in China. China does not allow the import of plastic waste, and China does not allow the existence of NGO´s and Free Press. How can Ecoalf demonstrate the sustainability of their products? It simply cant. Ecoalf is the perfect example of Greenwashing in the industry, no traceability, no transparency and lying to the consumer with excellent marketing. Business as usual, selling plastic as a luxury product, with the eco in the brand name, just to maximize profit and be able to spend more in marketing.
STRATEGIES OF GREENWASHING
- Relabelling products and technical information of products
- Lying in the labelling
- Using eco, bio, organic in their brand names
- Using some sustainable materials in the collection, when most of the collection is plastic based and non recyclable and non recycled
- Not offering real transparency of the information of the product
- Not offering certified materials or information of where the supposed recycled materials are processed
- Offering mix materials garments that are imposible to recycle
- Lying, lying and lying, until everyone believes the lie is true
WHY GREENWASHING HAS BECOME A PROFITABLE BUSINESS?
- Green Labeling of products, make consumers feel guilty about environmental problems, pushing them to consume, thinking they are helping the planet – a conscious manipulation of the ego of the consumer – making the consumer feel better ( but is all a lie).
- Plastic & Profit Business Model – Plastic allows textile businesses upgrade their profits against the business margins they obtain when using natural fibers like cotton, linen, wool, etc… Selling Eco Plastic is even more lucrative, the plastic is cheap, adding an eco labelling, helps sell it more expensive, profit margins grow exponentially.
- Digital Market. The fashion market has digitalized and the consumers buy products that they never touched or tried, visual ranks before quality to promote digital sales. Fake sustainable campaign products also profit from the digitalization of the fashion market, by selling to a digital »conscious shopper».
- Most claimed recycled polyester is a marketing scam, is not recycled at all, which just helps increase the profit margins. Recycled polyester fibers are more expensive than virgin polyester, we hardly ever find a real traceability of the supposed recycled fibers, and a complete view of the production chain, to be sure the product is sustainable.
- More than 90% of products claiming to use recycled polyester come from China, a country where no NGO´s are allowed, no free press, no transparency or real traceability of materials and the product itself.
- The poor quality of polyester garments makes them trash. These items have a short life, they usually do not reach a circular model, not entering second hand shops due to their short life spam because of their poor quality.
- Many of the claimed eco garments, cannot even be recycled, as they mix several plastic fibers. The companies that design and produce these products do not have the technology or knowledge to recycle their own trash fashion, and separate the different plastic based fibers they mix in many of their collections, generating a massive pollution problem that just gets bigger and bigger.
- Designed to pollute the planet. Polyester fashion has been growing year after year. The Fashion companies developing this new business model are committing environmental crimes of a scale we have never seen before.
- The legacy of Zara, H&M, Primark, Amazon and many of the companies mimicking this new toxic business model, deeply affects public health, having a direct impact in the health of children and new borns.
- The Plastic Greenwashing attempt by the Fashion Industry is a business model itself, but an environmental weapon against biodiversity and life on the planet. Producing fast plastic fashion is one of the biggest environmental challenges we have to deal with. These companies do not now how to recycle the trash they produce and are not kept accountable by law of the direct environmental impact and environmental crimes they are committing.
A PLASTIC BUSINESS
Patagonia, an example of Greenwashing paradigm. Patagonia claims that it donates 1% of profits to environmental causes, but its core model business is based on selling expensive plastic products. About 70% of patagonia´s catalogue is plastic based products, but it managed to be considered a sustainable brand, B certified, it uses organic cotton in some products and support grass root environmental movements, that do not critizise its plastic based business model.
A perfect example of how a company that basically produces plastic fashion, has managed to make a huge profit, while showcasing a supposed environmental commitment.
PLASTIC WILL NEVER BE A SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT FOR THE FASHION INDUSTRY, BECAUSE ITS NOT BIODEGRADABLE AND ITS PRODUCTION HAS A BIGGER ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT THAT THE PROCESSING OF NEW OR RECYCLED NATURAL FIBERS
EXAMPLE OF GREEN WASHING BRANDS CAMPAIGNS – SELLING PLASTIC AS SUSTAINABLE
A good company, tries to convince us so many times recycled polyester is sustainable by telling us many lies. Recycled polyester always loses quality every time its recycled.
Really? We dont need fossil fuels in the recycling process? Not in the transport of recycled materials to the recycling facility, or energy requirements of the recycling facility, nor the transport from the recycling facility to the final manufacturing garments factory, nor the energy requirements of the manufacturing factory, nor the transport of the garment to their selling point or final customer? So recycling plastic in an oil dependent transport, energy and logistics system, requieres no fuel? How can a good company basically believe in what they are telling the client? lie after lie. Pretty incredible!!!
According to the good company, recycled polyester means no virgin material used ( basically imposible if you want all your clothes to look the same), and claims no plastic in landfills (they really know that not a single product that has a percentage of recycled polyester never finishes in a landfill? Its not a biodegradable material, it will be a toxic residue for centuries), less energy ( its a lie, natural fibers and any recycled natural fibers are more energy efficient than recycled polyester) and no fossil fuels ( another lie, lie after lie, and they called themselves a good company…)
ORGANIC BASICS SELLS NYLON T-SHIRT AT 75 EUROS
Nylon is the opposite of organic. Root Greenwashing by Organic Basics same label.
STELLA MACCARTNEY SELLS PLASTIC BAGS AND SAYS ITS A SUSTAINABLE BRAND
Made from Polyurethane, recycled polyester and polyamide, Stella McCartney bags are un-recyclable. Trash plastic fashion attempted to be sold as a luxury product.
GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVE CLAIMS ITS PLASTIC BASED GARMENTS ARE SUSTAINABLE
It is imposible that girlfriend collective plastic based garments can be even recycled. Do they have the eco-technology to separate spandex from polyester? Are the garments they advertise more sustainable than linen, tencel or bamboo? All the claims of Girlfriend Collective of water saving, CO2 prevented and plastic recycling is really malicious marketing, without any proof or visible reports of all their claims, so much dishonesty. So shameful !!!
TEN TREE EVEN PROMISES 25 YEARS OF CO2 ABSORPTION WHILE SELLING PLASTIC BASED GARMENTS
Ten Tree is a company that also sells plastic as sustainable, and it has developed new interesting greenwashing strategies that are extremely aggressive. They claim to offset more than 3000 tons of CO2 when you buy a garment in the next 25 years. This kind of marketing should be illegal and punishable by law. Brands promising than in the next 25 years they will absorb so many tons of CO2 in the future, is just a complete lie, making the consumer believe something that can not be proven.
Greenwashing, marketing and fake sustainability, a new business model of profit & pollution
Amazon, Alibaba, Zara, H&M, Uniqlo, Primark, Forever21, Asos, have created and currently develop a business model that is at an environmental pollution security level alert for future live developing in the Earth. So much disposable, cheap, plastic is invading the planet cities and ecosystems. Even Luxury Brands are trying to replicate Fast Fashion Giants Business Model, by selling more plastic stuff, that is disposable fashion, unable to be recycled or have a circular model, due to its poor quality, they have developed the perfect business model to maximize profits on the short term and pollute the planet for centuries.
- The shipment of plastic based fashion pollution to developing nations should be stopped, because it poses an environmental crime and public health crime.
- Regulators should force producers to be able to recycle their own collections in order for them to be able to sell their fashion designs in the market.
- Taxes on imported plastic based fashion garments
- Campaigns to consumers and citizens to address the problem of plastic based fashion business model
- More control of toxic chemicals in fashion production
- Rising the fashion production quality to enter a circular model
- Rising taxes to most pollutant fashion items ( plastic based fashion garments)
- Promoting local sustainable production
- Promoting circular consumption models
- Fines to Big Fashion Pollutants
STOP BUYING PLASTIC BASED FASHION – ITS A HUGE ENVIRONMENTAL AND PUPLIC HEALTH PROBLEM
The truth behind fast fashion – Are fashion retailers honest with their customers? | DW Documentary
DEBATE ABOUT RECYCLED PLASTIC