@sophiaxverde Greenwashing alert 🚨 #greenwashing #fastfashion #sustainablefashion #sustainablefashiontiktok ♬ Careless Cbat – There I Ruined It
Rolling her eyes at the camera, Sophia shakes her head at what she calls “‘sustainable’ fashion collections that are actually just greenwashing,” before cycling through the advertisements for each responsible fashion initiative.
It’s clear that the TikToker doesn’t think much of each brand’s attempt at sustainable messaging. “H&M CONSCIOUS MY A**,” she writes of H&M’s Conscious Exclusive collection. Meanwhile, SHEIN Cares is tagged with a sick emoji.
Consumers increasingly consider sustainability to be an important factor when buying clothes, which brands are attempting to capitalize on with new green initiatives.
Fashion lines like H&M’s Conscious Collection, Princess Polly’s Earth Club, and Boohoo’s For The Future all claim to make their clothes out of sustainable materials, like organic cotton, Tencel, and recycled polyester. And SHEIN pledged to donate $300,000 to animal welfare charities as part of its SHEIN Cares campaign in 2021.
Yet most of these brands have been accused of misleading their customers about their green credentials. H&M was presented with a second lawsuit in November last year for attaching the sustainability tag to polyester and recycled plastic products, which the plaintiffs said “hoodwinked” eco-minded customers.
In the UK, Boohoo is under investigation by government regulators, who will determine whether the brand used vague language to oversell how sustainable For The Future really is. Some products may contain as little as 20% recycled plastic, according to the CMA.
Fast fashion has major negative impacts on the environment. The industry is the second largest contributor of air pollution in the world and also produces mass amounts of waste. In 2018, 11.3 million tons of textiles were shipped to landfills.
In the case of SHEIN, whose factories were the subject of a documentary last year for their poor working conditions, critics have said that sustainability initiatives cannot make up for fast fashion’s exploitative and environmentally harmful business practices.
“These are so laughable,” writes one TikToker in the comments.
“If a brand has a sustainable ‘collection’ they’re not sustainable they’re greenwashing. Sustainability isn’t a trend, it’s a change in operations,” another user points out.
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