What is Greenwashing?

What is Greenwashing?

Here at Willow & Eve we prefer not to consign fast fashion brands as we want to encourage and promote a more sustainable approach to purchasing fashion and extend the life cycle of products that are already out there.

Pretty Little Thing, which is owned by the Boohoo group, has been widely criticised, especially since the Leicester factory scandal, and therefore keen to change customer perceptions. So, when they launched their preloved arm, PLT marketplace App in August, we were hoping the tide had begun to turn.

However, was this just a marketing gimmick called ‘Greenwashing’?

The Huffington Post  seemed to think so and published an article where critics said the company was doing just that.

So, what is Greenwashing?

Greenwashing, in the fashion industry, is when brands make claims that they are more ethical and sustainable than they are; with the majority of their income coming from less ethical or sustainable areas of their business. This practise has become more prevalent with those fast fashion brands that have had negative publicity and are keen to enhance their reputation.

Fast fashion brands have come under scrutiny for their ethics, from the supply chain and workforce conditions through to the poor quality of items which don’t last more than a few wears. This results in a throw away culture with items ultimately ending up in land fill.

Shocking pictures of the Atacama Desert in Chile, where dunes of clothes show the final resting place of such inferior products, highlight the need for the fashion consumer to change their fashion buying habits.

 We still don't accept items from supermarket clothing brands or fast fashion brands that have a poor ethical rating, ie Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing or Shein. But how can you, the consumer, know if you’re buying from a company that makes false claims?

In January of this year Goodonyou published examples of companies using this on trend ‘marketing‘ tool. They also provide an app which show fashion brands with a ‘Great’ rating as well as ‘We avoid’ rating.

 ASOS and Boohoo are currently being investigated by the CMA (UK Competition & Markets Authority) into misleading sustainability claims too.

 There are so many informative articles about greenwashing and to help you stay informed I’ve listed a few below.




So before you believe the claims made by your favourite retail brand you can check out the facts behind the fashion fiction!

Karen Skagerlind.