Sustainability Terms & Tactics

Being seen as sustainable is profitable. Although being sustainable doesn’t always equate to being ethical. For the most part brands mean well but get drunk off their own kool-aid.  They are invested in their own success and according to 59% of green claims are misleading or unsubstantiated. While greenwashing is prevalent In fashion misinformation is more common and is typically unintentional. 

As consumers I think it’s important to have a healthy amount of curiosity about a brands business practices and see if they match up with their marketing claims. It takes a little extra work but I find that if you scratch the surface just a bit you will  learn a lot.  

I’m always trying to reconcile my love of fashion with my values around sustainability. The truth is that no brand is perfect and sustainability is a journey, but the reality is there is power in being a consumer and we get to make choices everyday by deciding how and where we spend our money.  

Below are some terms i though would be helpful to define. Disclaimer – there is likely a more official definition of these terms but this has helped me wrap my head around them in a way that makes it easier for me to identify them in an everyday way.

Greenwashing – is more about the omissions of facts. When a company or organization spends more time and money on marketing themselves as being sustainable than on actually minimizing their environmental impact. 

Misinformation – is incorrect or misleading information presented as fact, either intentionally or unintentionally. 

Performative activism or allyship – is done to increase one’s social capital rather than because of one’s devotion to a cause or as a means of self gratification without acknowledging responsibility 

Eco-ghosting Samata Pattinson coined the term back in 2014 during London Fashion Weeks as a way of describing brands that consciously or unconsciously  avoid sustainability terms and eco cred even though their work reduces negative social and environmental impacts.