With the recent influx of new information on the dangers of most mainstream cosmetics, it is no wonder that PR and marketing firms for those companies are having to alter their approach to how they market their products to the customer. This begs the question – Are you being greenwashed?
What is Greenwashing exactly?
Greenwashing is a spin technique used by companies to make their products appear like they are environmentally friendly, organic and/or natural. I’m sure you have all seen the labels with the pretty images of leaves and green colors or the use of matte, papery product labels that even tell you they are ‘Organic’ or ‘All Natural’ despite the ingredients list being practically made of ALL the chemicals to avoid and the packing being anything BUT biodegradable.
How are they allowed to lie to the customer?
Unfortunately, it is not illegal to promote on the label that their product is ‘Natural’, ‘Green’ or ‘Organic’ even if it isn’t. So, the marketing masters of the business disguise their chemical filled products with aesthetically pleasing labels in the hope that you’ll trust them. What they can’t hide, however, is the need to list ingredients right on the bottle and also the fact they can’t legally put a ‘Certified Organic’ label on their packaging.
Australia does have a policy that say they will punish companies that provide misleading information on their labels but some still manage to slip through the cracks.
How do I avoid being Greenwashed?
Despite the pretty labels and the alluring idea that your old favorite makeup brand has listened to their customers and come out with their own “natural” products, you must ALWAYS. READ. THE. INGREDIENTS. Be a smart consumer and don’t always trust the big brands. The ingredients label never lies. If ‘Green Tea Extract’ is the 30th ingredient on the list after a myriad of 10 syllable chemicals you don’t recognize, chances are that you are being fooled.
Also, make sure to look out for the ‘Certified Organic’ label. This doesn’t always make for a ‘greener’ or healthier product but it does help you know if the company is being truthful in their product promotion or not.
Ladies, now’s the time to check your beauty pantry and ask yourself – Are you being greenwashed?