Thumbs up or thumbs down? How Brands and Retailers Performed in Greenpeace’s Greenwashing Surve

Many of us – as consumers or experts in the textile and clothing industry – wonder how to interpret labels that make misleading claims about clothing that clothing is “sustainable ‘, ‘eco’, ‘green’, ‘or any other term that suggests buying that garment or fabric is somehow less harmful to the environment.

“If only someone could compare everything and see how tenable these claims are,” one might think. Well, someone just did it. In its latest greenwashing study “Greenwash Danger Zone”, the environmental organization Greenpeace analyzed popular eco-labels and summarized the results.

For the study, Greenpeace looked at all 29 Detox-commited members – its supply chain detox commitment launched in 2011 – and selected those for further review with a clearly defined product marketing label that uses any of the above mentioned terms. This left 11 members – Benetton, C&A, Coop, G-Star, H&M, Mango, Primark, Tchibo, Tesco, Vaude and Zara. To widen the approach, Greenpeace added three more companies, German retailer Peek & Cloppenburg, Italian brand Calzedonia and ZDHC member (Zero Discharges of Hazardous Chemicals) Decathlon.

“All the brands assessed have programmes on environmental and social responsibility at varying levels of sophistication, something that they aim to reflect in the various promotional labels which we assess here,” explained Greenpeace.

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