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What is greenwashing and how to spot it?

What is greenwashing and how to spot it?

As conscious consumers, we are coming to realize the importance of eco-friendly values and mindfully shopping to select fashion brands and products that resonate with us and our ethos. Seeking out sustainable brands in every way we shop in the fashion industry is becoming increasingly harder with fast fashion brands masking themselves with sustainable collections or throwing around the word organic. It is no longer acceptable for any fashion house to not be transparent with consumers, we no longer stand for the simple statement of sustainability. Accepting no less that full transparency on development, factories, materials, and more.

Greenwashing can be difficult to spot, as many fashion brands can mislead us, ethical shoppers, into their claims. Sadly many companies see sustainability and ethical values as atrend and selling point, rather than actually valuing the environment with a means to help. Doing the bare minimum, or nothing at all, brands will mislead us consumers with their marketing and clever choice of words that we are shopping eco-friendly and purchasing a sustainable product when in fact we are not at all.

It is, in fact, a matter the UK are coming down hard on recently after just last year, the CMA found that over 40% of green claims made online and eccomerce sites were in fact deemed misleading. Not only is this dishonest to consumers and their values, but it also stops companies who are truly invested in their sustainable roots from reaching these customers. So, what can we do better to support truly sustainable brands?

Here are the top things to watch out for when shopping sustainably not to fall into fast-fashions greenwashing trap:

  1. Watch out for very broad terms or a plastered recycled symbol! Remember, if it was truly ethical and sustainable they would be able to go into detail about that. This can be done on purpose to mislead and cause misunderstanding without labeling what is recycled about it, all the fabric? a % of the fabric? what fabric was used? Where was it sourced? Make sure they answer all your internal questions!
  2. As conscious consumers, we expect evidence, facts, and figures. The whole lot! Transparency is a key element to watch out for. If they aren’t sharing the proof behind their ‘sustainable swimwear’ or ‘organic cotton’ or ‘recycled t-shirt’ it’s probably because it’s not. Not sharing all the details and evidence means they can’t be checked or certified avoiding any confrontation.
  3. Look out for the typical keywords, from natural to organic or recycled, this is not music to our ears. This misleading language is used to trick us, from ‘chemical free’ or ‘toxin-free’ to ‘all natural’ we can become distracted with the positive connotations of these words or imagery such as nature or trees.
  4. A sustainable collection. This can be a big red flag, fashion brands promoting certain items or certain collections as sustainable or eco-friendly is not a good sign. If their whole ethos is not sustainable, what makes you think the working conditions will all be great or the fabric will 100% be sustainable? Think logically about the construction of these garments.

Here at Styelle Swim we do not accept greenwashing or fast fashion as a way that the fashion industry can continue. Our lovely founder Charys in fact created Styelle in hope to change this negative mindset of the fashion industry. Born a sustainable brand, we recognise the hardships to be 100% sustainable and continue to be transparent in every way with our Styelle babes. Here are the ways we contradict all greenwashing beliefs…

  1. We began solely with one mission: sustainability.
  2. We continue to share important details on not only our fabrics but also our processes so you know exactly the swimwear you are purchasing.

“ Styelle products are composed Amni Soul Eco, a virgin, plant-based fibre that is 30% biodegradable and the remaining 70% completely decomposing within 10 years of discarding, meaning you get fantastic wear out of our premium quality swimwear, while enjoying a lightning-fast biodegradation rate when exposed to microbiomes!”

  1. We proudly wear the crown of being the first brand in Australia boasting Amni Soul Eco Fluity CO2 biodegradable fabric having launched it here in early 2018.
  2. Our fabricators with years of experience in textile development have seen us create our unique biodegradable swimwear. Our fabric dye is certified for your peace of mind (Oeko-Tex 100 Certification).
  3. Every single piece of swimwear is uniquely crafted in-house so we know exactly how each collection is made and what goes into each product.
  4. We chose to ensure our fabrics are decomposable. All specially designed to decompose within 10 years after being disposed in landfills.
  5. We consider every little detail. Styelle is a proudly ‘carbon positive’ company, having already offset 20.6 tonnes of carbon. Supporting Styelle actually means reducing the amount of carbon in the air!
  6. We even offer alternative ways to be a conscious consumer, intending to help you become more sustainable in every and any way. Through our bikini buy-back scheme and vigilant recycling initiatives (read more here) we've saved a whopping 74.5 kilograms of textiles from landfill and prevented 260.75kg's of greenhouse gases.

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