Over the past recent years, Greenwashing has become a prominent fashion trend. Often containing misleading and falsified environmental claims, greenwashing is now hugely used by fashion companies to make impressive statements regarding sustainability and climate concerns. Here are a few latest greenwashing trends to look out for.
Stalling Tactics to Postpone Goals
According to the most ambitious science-based goals of the breakthrough Paris Agreement, companies need to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in half by next 2030, with a gradual reach of net-zero emissions by 2050. The companies are now either applying clever stalling tactics by demanding more data on the current climate situation or are making lofty commitments to their customers but without any concrete interim progress.
Hypocritical Fossil Fuel Financing
Fossil fuel financing has been increasing rapidly since the 2015 signing of the Paris Agreement. Even during the pandemic, fossil fuel financing was higher in 2020 than in 2016. The ambitious emissions-reduction targets are actually dependent upon sufficient budget allowance. Under these constraints, the corporate companies are taking hypocritical measures that look the best from the outside, but take the least changing effort internally.
Providing False Solutions
Flashy fast fixes like carbon offsetting or carbon-capturing are nothing but greenwashing in another form. Dubbed as ‘false solutions’ by the climate action organizations, these are a number of cunning tactics taken by the prominent corporate giants. The most prominent trend among them is, disguising waste incineration as ‘waste-to-energy in the fiscal year and environmental reports. Carbon offsetting, carbon capture, and carbon pricing are also a few other widely used means to offload the waste impacts.
Creating Vague Gray Areas
Though not like other construction and manufacturing companies, the fashion industry is also not immune to using unsustainable materials in productions. Petroleum-based synthetic polyester is the most used fiber in the apparel industry, as per the Textile Exchange’s 2019 report. In order to mask this hazard, the fashion brands often come with sustainable collections made with ‘more responsible’ materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, etc. But the gray areas are set in between the lines, as the percentage of ‘better material’ often becomes negligible due to other wider material mixes.
Maintaining Opacity of Supply Chain
According to the fashion internals, one of the biggest barriers to more sustainable business is inadequate infrastructure. Supply chain transparency in the fashion industry is aimed to create a circular-focused economy, stating the source of the garment materials, chemical, and water usage, the working force behind the manufacturing and their payment structure, etc. It enables tracking down inauthentic industries.