In recent years we have witnessed an explosion of the phenomenon called "Greenwashing" which we have extensively discussed in a previous article of our blog that we invite you to read. This has happened as clothing brands try to attract ever more environmentally conscious consumers.
A study carried out by the Changing Markets Foundation reported that around 60% of the eco-sustainable claims made by more than a dozen major European brands turned out to be unsubstantiated or misleading. Furthermore, a study carried out by the European Commission in 2020 found that a quarter of false claims, in favor of environmental protection, came precisely from the fashion sector.
Finally a new proposal from the European Union called the Green Claims Directive , which is expected to come into force in 2024, will oblige all clothing brands to prove, through the use of scientific evidence, the veracity of their green claims of any kind. We have already witnessed the about-face of two industry giants such as H&M and Asos, who had to abandon the "Conscious" label and the "Responsible Edit" line respectively following a series of investigations by the Dutch and British authorities.
Unfortunately, however, to date, what the fashion industry declares on the environmental progress made does not correspond to the reality of the facts. So how can a buyer, strongly interested in environmental protection, choose truly responsible brands and defend themselves against this wave of Greenwashing and misleading claims?
1. INVESTIGATE AND ASK QUESTIONS
The first step that a consumer must take is a real first-person investigation. Don't blindly trust what you see written on the outside tag of the garments on sale, but delve into the matter. A "Conscious" or "Eco" writing printed on the tags is not enough, so turn your attention to the internally sewn label. Here you will find a whole series of vitally important information, which brands are required to include by law:
- composition and material in percentage
- washing instructions
- country of manufacture and origin of the garment
It's not difficult to come across misleading tags that claim the sustainability of a specific item of clothing, only to discover from the internal label that its composition has nothing to do with ecology and respect for the environment. This can often occur by investigating items from brands belonging to the Fast Fashion category.
However, not even an accurate analysis of the internal label can be enough to complete your investigation, so continue with the second step. Ask the interested parties questions, talk to the sales assistants if you are in a physical store, or chat with customer assistance if you are buying online. Ask how and where the article you are interested in was made, but above all ask if there are Textile Certifications that can ascertain its true eco-sustainable nature.
2. CHECK FOR THE PRESENCE OF CERTIFICATIONS
As already detailed in a previous article of our Blog, the presence of Textile Certifications is absolutely necessary in order to be sure of the real eco-sustainable nature of a garment.
"The certifications are certificates of qualification that are issued upon request to the textile supply chains only after having passed the inspection of a certifying body"
So do not feel ashamed to ask directly whoever is representing the brand you are interested in at that specific moment. You will discover to your pleasure that if the Brand in question is telling the truth, it will have no problem showing you all the certificates it has.
3. PAY ATTENTION TO PACKAGING AND ETHICS
A truly sustainable brand does not limit itself to using ecological and certified textile fibers for its products, but pays obsessive attention to everything related to its business in terms of environmental protection.
Packaging, for example, is one of the major causes of plastic pollution globally. So the brand in question will take care of sending or delivering the goods to you using sustainable and plastic-free packaging.
But that's not all, as it will be the concern of the brand to ensure that even the shipment (in case you buy online) supports concrete initiatives towards the environment. Furthermore, further activities aimed strongly at ecology are always welcome, such as for example: trees planted for each purchase, active participation by the brand in eco-sustainable events and initiatives.
The watchword will therefore be Transparency and that is what at Shenty we try to provide our customers every day. All our garments are made using certified sustainable materials, and we pay particular attention to every branch of our business. We will therefore be happy and available to provide you with extremely detailed information on each item in our catalog, providing you with all the necessary certifications if necessary.